Former local councillor and forever champion of ‘the meedies’, Willie Clarke has officially opened the new Lochore Meadows Country Park visitor centre and sports pavilion.
A celebratory event was held earlier today (Friday) to mark the park’s latest milestone. It’s now home to a new visitor centre facility with a café, two educational rooms, an outdoor decking area and public toilets with disabled access and baby changing facilities
An interpretation area proudly displays information about the history of the park and interactive displays to help people get the most from their visit.
The new golf and football pavilion provides golf retail and coaching services with a PGA golf professional on site. In addition to a public lounge area with toilets and disabled access facilities the building has football changing rooms built to sportscotland specification. Whilst mainly hosting the local football team, Benarty Astros, it can also support other park events where possible.
Willie Clarke stopped by the pavilion before leading guests to the visitor centre with a quick detour via Lochore Castle ruins to acknowledge the recent partial restoration work carried out there as part of the Living Lomond Landscape Partnership.
Willie is delighted to see the new facilities completed and is looking forward as ever. He said: “I see this as a new phase and a new opportunity to develop Lochore Meadows and the facilities it offers. The meedies has always had the potential to attract more people to visit and enjoy all that this area has to offer. We now have the opportunity to realise that potential.”
Convener of the Cowdenbeath Area Committee, Cllr Linda Erskine said: “The old visitor centre was tired and no longer fit for purpose. Although there were some who didn’t want this new centre built I do believe, as a result of our investment, we now have a visitor centre which is a modern public facility for the park. It has enjoyed a very positive reception from customers since opening earlier this year. I’m sure people will agree that there is no more fitting a tribute than to name it after someone who has had such a passion for the Meedies for so many years.”
Cllr Judy Hamilton, Convener of the Council’s Community & Housing Services Committee added: “We want everyone to have access to good quality public greenspace and these improvements certainly reinforce Lochore Meadows place as a jewel in Fife’s crown. It’s very deserving of its newly appointed four star visitor attraction status from Visit Scotland.
“We’re also looking forward to further extending the outdoor pursuits offering in the area when we open Scotland’s first cycle circuit at the nearby Fife Cycle Park next month. Coupled with the walks, bike trails and other outdoor activities available at Lochore Meadows, the local area is building a reputation as a destination venue for cycling and other leisure pursuits.”
The park’s new pavilion benefits from £83,000 of Legacy 2014 Active Places Funding from the Scottish Government through sportscotland alongside £15,000 investment from Lochore Meadows Golf Club and £25,000 from Fife Golf Trust.
Stewart Harris, Chief Executive, sportscotland said: “At sportscotland we are building a world-class sporting system for everyone, whatever their level, to help make sport a way of life in Scotland.
“This development at Lochore Meadows will ensure that more people are able to access the facilities and enjoy all that the park has to offer. That’s why we were delighted to make an award of £83,000 from the Legacy 2014 Active Places Fund, and to work with Fife Council and their partners on this terrific project which I am sure will have a positive impact on the local community for many years to come.”
Main pic caption: Willie Clarke opens the new visitor centre alongside co-leaders Cllr David Ross (left) and Cllr David Alexander (right).