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Friends of Brora Primary School set up fundraiser towards playpark upgrade


By Caroline McMorran

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A FUNDRAISING drive is under way in a bid to revitalise a decades old Sutherland community playpark which is now so run-down that it is on the verge of being put out of bounds.

The Friends of Brora Primary School launched the initiative after receiving several knock backs from wind farm funding sources.

Two Brora Primary School pupils have fun this week in the playpark, but unless funding can be found to upgrade it, closure is inevitable.
Two Brora Primary School pupils have fun this week in the playpark, but unless funding can be found to upgrade it, closure is inevitable.

Built next to the school some 20 years ago on scrubland owned by Brora Rangers Football Club, the playpark contains a climbing frame, parallel walking bars, and slide as well as other equipment.

Its upkeep is the responsibility of the school, which cannot afford to spend money on it.

Friends group representative Jane Mackintosh said the facility was well used and would be sorely missed by local children if it had to be shut down.

She said: “Children of all ages and abilities use this park – Brora Primary School and nursery, Stepping Stones Day Care Centre, Brora Toy Library, holiday makers in the area not to mention all the local children who use it daily for their wee get togethers and chill out time.

“With a school roll of just over 100 and more families moving to the area, we believe it is a huge part of the community and important to provide suitable equipment for the children to have fun.”

An estimated £50,000 is needed to upgrade the site and purchase new equipment

The Friends were disappointed to have several applications to community benefit wind farm funds such as Kilbraur and Gordonbush turned down.

However, fund managers held out hope that if the group raised some 25 per cent of the costs itself, then a fresh application would be looked on with more favour.

“We’ve held a couple of events and have applied to Highland Council for money from the ward discretionary fund which is looking hopeful,” said Mrs Mackintosh.

The group also decided to set up a JustGiving page and set a target of £500, which has already been exceeded with the total earlier this week standing at £560.

To donate to the fundraiser, click here .

Brora Primary School head teacher Dawn Mackenzie said: “Brora Playpark has been an integral part of the day for hundreds of children for just over 20 years. It has served us all very well but is now past its use by date.

“Pupils have been part of planning how we would like the area to look if we could renew it. Parents and user groups have worked hard to seek funding. Hopefully we can all pull together and make a playpark that will again be an asset to our community.”

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