The children and Parent Council of St Mary's Primary School are raising funds to refurbish the playground at Millrow Park, close to Dunblane's High Street.

Millrow Park

The upgrade of the aged playpark will bring multiple benefits to the Dunblane community and the children of St Mary’s Primary School:

  • Enhance the functionality and use of the park – a fun place to spend time on a range of play equipment,
  • Offer opportunities for social contact among children and families,
  • Reduce current issues with vandalism/damage linked to the tired looking equipment,
  • Increase footfall in the High Street and business for our local cafes and shops,
  • Provide an inclusive area to play for the children of Dunblane and the wider Stirling Community. Availability of nearby parking, proximity to Dunblane Train Station and paths leading into Millrow Park make it a good spot for inclusive play,
  • Provide a great opportunity for the children of St Mary’s to learn about community engagement and the importance of supporting their local community (responsible citizens).

Progress So Far

We have been in communication with Stirling Council and Dunblane Community Council, both of whom support improvement work at the site.  At the outset, Stirling Council confirmed they would fund the replacement of the large piece of play equipment (the much loved but close to being condemned train), along with the groundwork and installation of equipment we raise funds for. Stirling Council representatives have been most helpful in meeting with the children, on site, at Millrow Park (initial scoping of the types of equipment that could be installed), at school (review of catalogues and shortlisting of equipment), and a further site visit to measure the space allocation for selected items and to scope out available space for other items.  

We have been raising funds through grant applications and asking the local Dunblane community, and businesses, to donate.  This is the first time we have undertaken a project like this and we were unsure what our fundraising ability would be.  We therefore decided, at the outset, to raise funds for items that our school and nursery children felt were essential.  This included:

  • an inclusive roundabout,
  • swing seat and seesaw, and
  • a small piece of toddler play equipment.

We set up a crowdfunding page, undertook community fundraising activity (stall within Millrow Park at the Dunblane Fling, bag packing at Tesco, stall at St Mary’s Primary School Summer Sizzle) and also made grant applications to Stirling Council’s Community Grants Fund, and Clackmannanshire and Stirling Environment Trust (CSET), both of which were successful, making a significant financial contribution.    In addition, a large number of businesses contributed to our crowdfunding page, all of whom have been acknowledged on our Facebook and Instagram pages.

Representatives from Stirling Council met with children from St Mary’s Nursery and Primary School just before the summer holidays. Play equipment catalogues were reviewed and items selected. The children also selected the larger piece of play equipment Stirling Council is funding to replace the train. Our original crowdfunding page came to a close on 22 July. It is with great pleasure and gratitude we announce that we raised the required funds to purchase the four play equipment items.

What Now

Having met with Stirling Council again on 20 July we are keen to continue our fundraising efforts to make further enhancements to the park. We would like to explore replacing the existing swing frame for two reasons:

1. The swing frame is old and not ideal to accommodate an accessible swing seat,
2. The removal of the swing frame along with other dated items clears the park, allowing new equipment to be installed from scratch. This will give greater opportunity to make the park inclusive.

We have approached Clackmannanshire and Stirling Environment Trust (CSET) who have kindly confirmed that a replacement swing frame can been included in the grant award approved earlier this year. This significantly reduces the amount we will need to raise to replace the swing frame. Once we have raised the required funds the large pieces of equipment will be ordered and Stirling Council will be able to plan for the installation work (once the delivery dates are known).

In addition, we would like to now raise money for:

  • A bench or two and a further small picnic bench for the comfort of parents and carers visiting the park.
  • Some play panels which would be slotted in amongst the equipment we have already raised money for enhancing opportunities for inclusive play in the park.

Lastly, we are also exploring opportunities to level the park to improve accessibility to the inclusive equipment selected by the St Mary’s Primary School community.

The Funding Plan

We will continue with our existing (now proven) fundraising efforts.

  • Launch a new crowdfunding page,
  • Submit grant applications,
  • Undertake local fundraising activities.  

We will continue to post regular activity updates our Facebook, Instagram and Crowdfunding pages.  The website will also updated intermittently; so please come back and visit us again.

Designers at Work

Take a look at how our children envisage the future playpark