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Major improvement project by Highlnd Council planned for Whin Park in Inverness

By Neil MacPhail

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Some parents have complained about the state of Whin Park which they say has been allowed to fall into disrepair.
Some parents have complained about the state of Whin Park which they say has been allowed to fall into disrepair.

The news from the council follows criticism of the rundown state of what is one of the busiest parks in the city.

Whin Park and boating pond was once considered by many to be a jewel in the crown of the city’s recreation areas, but is now in desperate need of TLC.

A short walk from the controversial riverside art work The Gathering Place, Ness Islands and Bught Park, it has the city’s only boating pond, though sadly there are no boats and the bridge to the island with its ticket office and bandstand has been closed.

Whin Park is fortunate to have a snack bar and on-site toilets, and is adjacent to the well maintained Hospice-run miniature railway attraction.

After being told of the damning criticism, Highland Council admitted facilities at Whin Park were nearing “end of life.”

The bridge over the pond has been closed.
The bridge over the pond has been closed.

However the council has ambitions that such a key area will be re-born better than ever.

A parent who contacted the Courier said: “We were absolutely disgusted over the state park is in.

“Lots of equipment has been taken away including family favourites. The sunken trampolines have been boarded up, there are missing swings, and the safety rubber is all ripped up and damaged.

“Weeds are coming up through the rubber that is still there. The limited benches, are damaged with holes in them and causing splinters.”

“On top of all that, there aren’t even any boats any more. The pond seems like it hasn’t been maintained with weeds everywhere, litter floating all over and it looks filthy. The toilet are another diabolical issue in itself.”

She added that apparently these issues have been going on since around 2019.

“I believe other parents have also voiced concerns about this, but as usual, the answer always seems to be down to funding.

The boating pond.
The boating pond.

“With the current inflation crisis, now more than ever, it’s important for families to be able to still go out and enjoy family time. However, with parks being left like this, there are not many other options people can do.”

A Highland Council spokeswoman said: “The council recognises that the facilities at Whin Park are reaching end of life.

“This is a very important site to the city and has seen investment in the past from the Inverness Common Good Fund.

"It is intended to progress discussions which may result in proposals being taken forward for further investment.

“The aim is to develop a major improvement project at this key destination play area.

“It is hoped that, with Scottish Government funding along with the potential of Ward and Common Good Fund support, the project will develop and we can engage with local communities and park users.

“The vision is to create a landmark natural play area at this location making the site more inclusive with a higher play value.”

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