Heritage honour bid for Kinloch Park

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Kinloch Park and its stunning war memorial could soon receive national recognition if councillors agree to submit it for consideration.

The Campbeltown park is the subject of a bid by Argyll and Bute Council to be acknowledged as a Centenary Fields site by heritage charity Fields in Trust.

The status can be given to any green space with a connection to the First World War which honours the lives of servicemen and those who played their part in the home front.

Members of the council’s environment, development and infrastructure committee were set to decide yesterday (Thursday June 6) on whether to approve the bid for submission. It was recommended that for approval.

A report for the meeting, prepared by executive director of development and infrastructure Pippa Milne said: ‘Officers are of the view that the primary benefit to the council in having this site designated as a Centenary Fields site is more in the symbolic sense – that the site is officially recognised by both Fields in Trust and the Royal British Legion as space to be protected for future generations to enjoy.

‘[It would also be] to commemorate those servicemen and women, as well as civilians, who played their part in the First World War.

‘There may also be the opportunity to use Centenary Fields status to help lever in external funding for the site.

‘Every site receives a commemorative plaque to display on site, as well as receiving associated signage, the display of which is optional. There is no requirement for an actual name change.

‘This status does not prevent disposal at a future point in time, as long as disposal is of a clear advantage to, and in the best interests of, the community from a recreational perspective.’

Ms Milne’s report also stated that the council would continue to manage and maintain the park, with Fields in Trust’s role purely an advisory one.

There would be no minimum expectation for maintenance requirements, or pressure to make money as a result of any Centenary Fields status.

Ms Milne added: ‘To achieve Centenary Fields status, the site must have a link to World War One and be suitable for sport, recreation and/or play.

‘The only two sites which appear to officers to meet this criteria are Kinloch Park in Campbeltown and Hermitage Park in Helensburgh.

‘Given that the profile of Hermitage Park is being raised through the £3 million restoration project, officers are of the view that, on balance, it would be more appropriate to put Kinloch Park forward.

‘This is on the basis that Kinloch Park is likely to derive greater benefit from this enhanced status and protection.’