06 March 2024

Hip-Hop comes out top as Johnshaven pupils vote on new playpark equipment

Children in Johnshaven will soon be enjoying a ‘hip’ new piece of playpark equipment thanks to a Place Standard engagement exercise in the village.

Aberdeenshire Council’s Kincardine and Mearns area team hosted the recent engagement in liaison with the local community council to assess what facilities were needed in the area.

As part of that wider community feedback, dedicated sessions were held with Johnshaven Primary School to get the thoughts and ideas of local children.

The pupils commented on how much they enjoyed playing in Wairds Park – which is owned and maintained by a local committee – but felt it would benefit from some new play equipment.

Their keenness then led to a participatory budgeting exercise being held among the P3-P7 pupils in which they drew up colourful designs for the play equipment they would like to see installed and which would be as inclusive as possible.

Six different items were identified and costed for the whole school to vote on, with the winning option being the vertical and horizontal rotational Hip-Hop equipment.

Cllr Sarah Dickinson, chair of Aberdeenshire Council’s Kincardine and Mearns area committee, said: “This is a tremendous example of a community embracing the engagement process and highlighting what is important for them locally. The children have clearly enjoyed designing their playpark ideas and being part of the participatory budgeting process which is really heartening and I’m sure they can’t wait for the new playpark equipment to be installed.”

Alison Millard, headteacher of Johnshaven School, added: “It is important for our children to have their voices heard about developing the community in which they live. It was a pleasure to see their enthusiasm and the pride they are developing about being an important part of the Johnshaven Community.”

The purchase and installation of the new facility later this year is being funded through developer obligations earmarked for leisure facilities from a local housing development with match-funding coming from the Kincardine and Mearns area committee’s local budget.