Open, but not quite finished…
We are pleased to report the safety fencing came down on the 5th March and the gardens are now back open for public use. We hope you enjoy this transformed recreational space.
The new paved area at the north of the gardens is designed as a meeting place and as an opportunity for pop up events. As well as place for a public art feature. There is plenty of space to extend events onto the main grassed area. There is new seating at the edge of the paved area, this will be completed in the next few weeks. This part of the garden gets the sun all day and we think it will become a popular place just to sit and enjoy the space. You will see more picnic bench seating arriving over the coming weeks in addition to completion of the interpretive boards.
The flowerbeds have been reinstated and plants have already been ordered from the Highland Council. The new entranceway to the Primary school will open as soon as the safety barriers are fitted.
Work is taking place to move the fencing back, along some parts of the riverbank, so that it will be possible to actually see the river Gynack. At the southern end of the garden an avenue of cherry trees will replace the old bushes as well as wildlife planting on specific parts of the river bank.
The new Christmas tree now has an electrical connection for Christmas lights and the Memorial has been enhanced with new paving and state of the art lighting.
The round circle at head of the Gardens (behind the paving for pop up events) has been designed to house an iconic sculpture, one that will encourage people to pause, reflect, discuss, photograph and share. A sculpture that will have visual impact and can be enjoyed by residents and visitors to the town. A modern thinking town needs a real centre and having a significant and notable feature as well as an ‘Instagram’ point will give the town real status. The vision is for visitors and tourists to spend time in the town and take pictures in the gardens which, in the nature of modern communications, can trend and thus publicise the area to others around the world.
After much thought and debate KCDC are proposing a Thistle sculpture by artist Kev Paxton (you can find him at artfe.co.uk). Kev visited Kingussie and suggested a Thistle made from recycled metal collected from around Kingussie that incorporates Shinty Camans to reflect the strong sporting and cultural heritage of shinty in Kingussie.
Support for the sculpture has already been received from the High School, Community Council, Business Forum, Kingussie Community Development Company as well the National Park Authority’s community support and rural development officers and Sustrans. Planning permission has been applied for an indicative design, but this does not mean it will happen. The planning process, will only be successful if there is enough community support for the project. Once this is in place it will be possible to begin to raise funds and commission the artist to develop the final design taking into account community feedback. Below is a picture of what it looks like. This does not show the final detailed design, but simply gives an idea.
Have your say by completing this survey – or leave a comment using the form below.
These projects have been undertaken by volunteer members of the Kingussie Community Development Company, a community charity trying to make a difference in our town. The funding has come from Sustrans “Places for Everyone” grant scheme as well as Highland Council’s Town Centre transformation fund.