Gynack Gardens Development

Work underway at Kingussie’s Gynack Gardens to improve links for people on bike and foot.

A Cycle Friendly Kingussie project looking at safer and more accessible cycling and walking in the town has outlined its plans for improvements to Gynack Gardens.

Once completed, the new gardens will be transformed into a large open area which will provide open access for all, including a direct link to the primary school. It also delivers a welcoming and comfortable place to pause and spend time in. The park is also set up to provide a hub for National Cycle Network Route 7 as well as the recently extended Speyside Way.

The development will include a ‘maintenance post’ for bikes as well as a bike shelter. It will also offer an opportunity to host and promote local events. The scheme has been developed following a successful bid by Kingussie Community Development Company (KCDC) from the Town Centre Funding Project managed by Highland Council.

Convener and local Badenoch and Strathspey Councillor, Bill Lobban said: “I am delighted that the Council has been able to financially contribute to this important project. There is no doubt that it will have a positive impact. The Town Centre Fund grant from the Scottish Government has come at a vitally important time as we seek to reinvigorate our town centres and High Streets after the economic damage of the Covid-19 pandemic.”

The project has been led by Kenny Deans, Gilmour Strang and Bob Kinnaird with support from Sustrans Scotland Infrastructure Officer Bo Hickey, and John Craig at Highland Rural Designs. Public consultations proved wholly supportive and gave the group the impetus to progress. A formal contract with TGP, Landscape & Design Architectural company has taken the project to the current stage where all the relevant work has been prepared in order for the plan to go to procurement and be tendered for.

The timescale for the project will be determined when a contractor is appointed but it is envisioned that the actual works should be completed within a 6 week period. The funding package includes ‘in-kind’ match funding from Cairngorms National Park Authority as well as the monies from the Town Centre Fund via Highland Council and Sustrans’ Places for Everyone programme. Places for Everyone is funded by Transport Scotland and supports projects which make towns and cities friendlier and safer places to walk and cycle. Further work is underway with TGP on two further projects which link to the garden development and articulate with the High School and the Station at the ‘Silverfjord ‘ junction to the south as well as the extension of the route in from the West on Newtonmore Road. This work will include further community consultation. “We are delighted to reach this stage and have passed the hurdle of sourcing funding for the construction phase, thanks to Sustrans and the Highland Council.  We hope this community transitional project will make a real difference to the heart of our town.“ Bob Kinnaird

Kenny Deans reported, “although the process has taken us slightly longer than hoped I believe the end result will justify the time and commitment from all the associated parties involved; exciting times ahead”.Sustrans Scotland Infrastructure Manager, Chiquita Elvin said: “We are really pleased to be supporting this project through our Places for Everyone programme. “Cycle Friendly Kingussie has demonstrated how a community group can bring real change to their neighbourhood – not just in infrastructure, but in meaningful community engagement as well. We hope the changes will make it easier for more people to walk and cycle in the local area.” Given the restrictions on public places, Dallas Decorators window in King Street, Kingussie opposite the Paper Shop will have copies of the plans in the window for a limited period.

The Presentation used at a public meeting in May 2020 can be found HERE

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