Saughton Park playground open to all

One of Edinburgh’s flagship parks will begin to reopen to the public in time for the mid-term break, following a major programme of restoration.

Most of Saughton Park’s revamp is now complete and ready for the community to enjoy, including a new playpark, outdoor gym and landscaped grounds. 

SaughtonThe £7.3m scheme to return the Edwardian park to its former glory, made possible with £3.8m of Heritage Lottery Funding, is the largest project of its kind in Scotland. 

Work is still underway to restore some of the park’s key features, such as the refurbishment of the Winter Garden, the botanical gardens and stable block, in addition to the construction of a new café. This is expected to be complete in December. 

Transport and Environment Vice Convener, Councillor Karen Doran, said: “We’ve reached an exciting milestone for this landmark project – now the community and visitors from further afield can enjoy Saughton Park’s beautiful grounds and many of the brand-new features created as part of its regeneration.

“Thanks to the hard work of the project team, along with the dedication and fundraising efforts of volunteers from a range of organisations, including Friends of Saughton Park, we are delighted to be opening the first parts of this expertly-restored and upgraded park, and I look forward to its full completion later this year.” 

From next week, the park’s perimeter paths along the Water of Leith and Main Drive will reopen, alongside an inclusive playpark, which features a wheelchair-accessible roundabout and trampoline, equipment enabling children of all abilities to play together and a garden of sensory plants and trees.

A new multi-use games area has been designed to suit roller hockey and basketball, including wheelchair basketball, while an all-ability bike store, provided by Cycling UK, will let people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities try out cycling activities during regular drop-in events.

A stone carving at the park’s Water of Leith viewpoint, illustrating the river winding through the city, has also been unveiled, thanks to Friends of Saughton Park, who raised more than £2500 to create the feature.

As well as £3.8m of Heritage Lottery Funding, the project has benefited from £500,000 from Sustrans and £25,000 from the Mushroom Trust. Additional funding of £164,000 from WREN’s FCC Scottish Action Fund, Viridor and EB Scotland has gone toward the installation of the playground and £50k from the SUEZ Communities Trust to create a multi-use games area, which has been supported by the Edinburgh Inline Hockey Club too.

Find out more about the project on the Council website.

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