New playpark in Kyleakin after community reach fundraising target

TIME TO CELEBRATE: Children from Kyleakin can look forward to a new playpark soon following a local fundraising initiative. Pictured are Cllr John Finlayson, Claes Jonermark and James MacKay from MOWI, Maddie Newsome, Danni Stewart and Andrea Brown and pre-school children at Kyleakin Primary School with Christine MacLeod and Heather McCormack. PHOTO: Willie Urquhart/WHFP

Work can begin on a brand new children’s playpark in Kyleakin after a community fundraising drive brought in £79,000.

The new playpark will be sited on land donated by Kyleakin Feus near to the village hall and local primary school.

A mixture of community fundraising, grants and contributions linked to the building of new housing in the village has helped complete the funding package and parent Maddie Newsome, who has chaired the fundraising group, said she was delighted to see all the local efforts bearing fruit.

She said: “The committee are delighted to be able to bring the project into reality in such a short time and want to thank all the donors for their generosity.

“The new play park will provide a fun, creative and social outdoor play area for the young children of Kyleakin and surrounding villages, and the support from local groups, businesses and the local council has been overwhelming.”

Funding was made possible thanks to National Lottery players as the lottery’s community fund gave £7,425.

The National Lottery Community Fund Scotland Chair Kate Still said: “In these uncertain times our priority is to ensure that National Lottery money continues to flow to charities, voluntary sector organisations and grassroots groups. I would like to congratulate Kyleakin Playpark project on their award, theirs is an important project and will support people now and in the future when they can physically come back together to make great things happen in their community.”

The final piece in the funding jigsaw came from a Highland Council ward discretionary grant of £4,000.

Local councillor John Finlayson said: “Myself and fellow members were really impressed by the fundraising drive to date and the fact that through various channels, almost £76,000 of the funding was secured before the ward discretionary was turned to.

“The fundraising to date made the decision to support the final piece in the jigsaw very easy and members were keen to point out that this project highlights how community drive and partnership working, that includes a clear strategic vision, can achieve positive outcomes.”

James MacQueen Building Contractor’s Limited gave £20,000 and a developers’ contribution from Lochalsh and Skye Housing Association of £32,600 was made linked to the construction of the new houses.

A further £8,000 came through the Kyleakin Gala; MOWI Scotland donated £5,000; Kyleakin and Kylerhea Community Council gave £1,000; online crowdfunding brought in £1,000 while £200 was raised through the Balmacara SPAR.

It is hoped that the park will be completed by late summertime.