Dollar Park visitors could get lost loos back

The facilities in Dollar Park could re-open if funds are found to do them up
The facilities in Dollar Park could re-open if funds are found to do them up
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Visitors to a popular park could soon get much-needed facilities back.

Toilets – or the lack of them – have been a contentious issue for those using Dollar Park for years.

Falkirk Council and the Friends of Dollar Park have been working together to revamp the community beauty spot with the need for toilet facilities seen as a priority.

This week, a meeting between Provost Pat Reid, members of the Friends group and council officials agreed to look at either redeveloping the current toilet block or providing new facilities.

It has also been revealed that a £35,000 grant from Falkirk Environment Trust will allow the Walled Garden within the park to be restored.

In a unique initiative, convicted criminals will work with dementia sufferers and outdoor enthusiasts to revamp the rundown area.

The council’s criminal justice service has created the masterplan along with the Friends group and the Joint Dementia Initiative which is based in buildings next to Arnotdale House in the centre of the grounds.

Last year, the local authority spent over £270,000 upgrading and repairing Arnotdale in the hope of attracting a commercial tenant.

Chris Morris, who chairs the Friends, said: “The need for toilets has always been high on the agenda. There are a lot of constraints on the council’s budgets but hopefully we will be in a position to apply for grants and funding to make this happen.

“As an interim measure, we will also be looking at getting the Portaloo open longer. Currently it is only available during the school summer holidays but we hope to get that extended from spring to autumn.”

Provost Pat Reid said: “It’s early days, but I’m fairly confident we will find a solution. The first step will be to carry out a feasibility study to determine whether the current toilet block can be restored or converted, then it will be a case of fundraising. Anything which benefits the park and encourages people to use it has to be welcomed.”

The Friends are keen to hear from any local architects who would like to get involved in the project and work with them to provide the much-needed amenity in the park.

Anyone interested should contact Jessica Paterson by e-mailing poetrypaterson@googlemail.com

Dollar Park was gifted to the people of Falkirk in 1921 by Robert Dollar. The Grahamston-born philanthropist made his fortune in the shipping and timber trade in America, but never forgot his roots and became a generous benefactor to the town.