Falkirk MSP Michael Matheson has visited a major greenspace improvement project underway at a former coal mining spoil heap at Lionthorn Policy Bing, Falkirk.
Mr Matheson toured the development site at Lionthorn and heard from the environmental regeneration partners, Green Action Trust and Falkirk Council, about the plans to bring the formerly derelict land back into productive use for the local community through the creation of path links and access enhancements, installation of a grass ‘kick about’ pitch, and landscaping, bulb and woodland planting.
Work is now well underway on the site, with the grass football pitch and surrounding mounds for seating areas currently in development. The project has received over £580,000 of financial support via the Scottish Government’s Vacant and Derelict Land Investment Programme, and is expected to be completed later in the summer.
Lionthorn Policy Bing sits on the remains of a coal mining spoil heap that was developed for sports use in the 1960s. By the 1980s this area had fallen out of use and in 2018, as part of a number of local plans and strategies was identified as a key regeneration opportunity.
The site masterplan has been drawn up by environmental regeneration experts Green Action Trust, which delivers impactful projects supporting community development and addressing biodiversity loss and environmental inequality across Scotland and through the Central Scotland Green Network, a £2.4 billion, 40-year green infrastructure programme. The project is being delivered in partnership with the Falkirk Council and lead contractors Mackenzie Construction.
Michael Matheson, MSP for Falkirk West said: “I am delighted to see the progress being made on the Lionthorn Greenspace Initiative, regenerating the remains of a coal mine spoil heap into a community green space between Hallglen and Lionthorn. It is great to see this space being turned into a community space for all to enjoy.”
Mike Ewart, Operations Manager at Green Action Trust said: “We were delighted to welcome Mr Matheson to the site at Lionthorn Policy Bing to discuss the exciting plans for the area and demonstrate what partnership working can deliver for the environment as well as the health and wellbeing of our communities.
“The greenspace improvements at Lionthorn Policy Bing will provide a valuable amenity for the local community and make a positive contribution to the aims of the wider Central Scotland Green Network.”
Greg Williams, Contracts Engineer at Mackenzie Construction said: “It’s fantastic to have work underway at the site at Lionthorn Policy Bing, where we are delivering the Green Action Trust and Falkirk Council masterplan to improve the greenspace amenity for the local community. We’re proud to lead projects that improve the places in which we live and work for local communities and we look forward to seeing these spaces utilised for health, social and environmental benefits.”