The future is looking bright for a Lossiemouth park after a community group was given the go-ahead to lease the site from Moray Council yesterday through a community asset transfer.
Marine Park used to be one of the most popular places for local children back in the 1950s when it consisted of a putting area, bowling green and tennis courts.
However, it fell into disrepair and gradually became neglected.
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That deterioration continued until the Action Marine Park (AMP) organisation was formed in 2011 by a group of volunteers who wanted to revive the glory days when almost every young person in the coastal town used the amenity.
Their first task was a £40,000 refurbishment of the tennis courts in 2014, which brought them up to date and allowed Lossiemouth Tennis Club to benefit from the modern facilities.
Now, after being allowed to lease the park from the local authority, the group wants to install a multi-use pavilion to benefit other clubs in the community.
AMP treasurer John Thomson has fond memories of the place the group members once called the “putting green” and wants to restore it even further.
He said: “It is a nostalgic place and my sister and I were among the hundreds of kids who grew up with the “putting green” as we affectionately used to call it.
“Then the park became unused and derelict, with the tennis courts never in use as they had broken glass everywhere.
“Generations of people used to wander on and play there and it will be interesting to see the place restored from what it was and see what it can become once again.”
A pavilion used to be part of the park until it was removed by the council and the group is striving to raise at least £250,000 to install a new building.
Initial visions for the premises include it being two storeys, with the bottom floor having bookable storage lockers and above that a cafe area which offers a viewing place and is sheltered.
Heldon and Laich councillor John Cowe said: “I remember playing there as a boy, because it had lots of stuff like a bowling green and a putting area and it was very popular. However, it fell into disrepair.”
Moray Council’s policy and resources committee unanimously approved transferring the park to AMP as well as the bowling green and tennis courts in Portknockie to the village’s bowling and tennis club.