Being based in the village, we have been delighted to have been involved in the project from its initial concept right through the funding process and throughout the build and are thrilled to be able to give something back to the community for residents and visitors to enjoy.
Since the controversial new toilet block was finally completed in Bridge of Allan, the space around it, known as Provost’s Park, had largely been left untouched and was a sad space in an otherwise beautiful and prosperous village. The Provost’s Lamp had been renovated and given a new life but its surroundings had yet to be brought up to the same standard.
We were approached in late 2010 to discuss the possibility of being involved in the renovation of Provost Park. As a local company based in Bridge of Allan, we were delighted to be able to provide advice and designs for the benefit of the community.
Initially, Michael and Jill Burt met with some of the Community Council to discuss the project. Jill recalls:
“It was in the middle of a cold snap in the winter of 2010 when we first met up Gavin Drummond and Liz Rankin from the Community Council. They were putting up the village Christmas tree in the park to try and add some sparkle to what was otherwise an uninspiring space. At least the thick covering of snow hid the lack of interest underneath! At the meeting Liz and Gavin discussed some of the ideas that had been considered for the space and asked if we were able to pull together some thoughts.”
Jill explains the inspiration for the design:
“There were three main requirements which jumped out at us from the outset. Firstly, the community required a practical area where they can relax and enjoy the world going by. The space needed to be usable by everyone in the community whether that’s families, couples or elderly so path widths and surfaces were important. Plentiful seating was clearly important too. Secondly, the area had to look good. The Friends of Bridge of Allan, who look after many of Bridge of Allan’s public gardens, carry out fantastic work in the community and Provost’s Park has been a contentious issue for some time. We were keen to design a space that the community could all be proud of and be happy to use. It’s a great space, right in the middle of the village so it needed to have the “wow factor” and be fitting of its focal point in such an attractive village. Lastly, we were keen to reflect the Victorian inspiration which surrounds the park and the spa village and design a garden which would be appropriate for the space.
“The main focal point for the design is a stunning, cast iron gazebo, situated in the centre of the formal gardens. Victorians loved symmetry and topiary so we made sure these were key features of the space. Vintage style bricks edge wide pathways suitable for all members of the community. Decorative metal screens surround the toilet block providing a nicer backdrop to the gardens and include details inspired by the village itself. In the corner closest to the toilets, an ecclesiastical garden has been created, reflecting the park once being the site of a church. Liz managed to obtain beautiful pew benches from one of the village churches which sit in this area looking onto a centre bed of perfumed plants. The central focal point of this area is the existing stone fountain.
The wall which runs the length of Provost Park will boast new interpretation boards highlighting some of the key features and historical information about Bridge of Allan. To the front of the park, a grassy area has been included, allowing space to sit out and relax and watch the world passing by.
The official opening will take place on Sunday 28th September 2014 from 3pm. The official opening will be undertaken by Gavin Drummond and our very own Lulu Burt. There will be music from Beaconhurst School and dancers from Dance Connections. Malcolm Allan will be giving a short talk on the Park and there will be refreshments, a slideshow and a performance by Dance Connections in the Parish Church afterwards. All are very welcome and we hope you can join us to celebrate this wonderful project.
You can read more about Provost’s Park and our other garden transformations on our website.
All at Vialii