Ferguslie Park volunteers bring deprived area back to life

A deprived area in Renfrewshire is to be significantly upgraded after we awarded a £1,500 grant to a volunteer-led community improvement project.

Volunteers are working hard at Ferguslie Park

A group of volunteers from Ferguslie Park, Paisley, have been awarded the grant as part of our Know Your Routes campaign to help boost their efforts in bringing the local community space back to life.

Supported by Ferguslie Community Council, Darkwood Crew will use the funding to carry out vital upgrades to the path networks in the local village green, including the introduction of access ramps and benches, improving signage and the enhancement of green infrastructure in the area.

Named as Scotland’s most deprived area in 2016, Ferguslie Park gained a reputation for being a hot-spot for anti-social behaviour and has since seen considerable community efforts to help transform it into a safe, accessible and welcoming space for residents.

Terry McTernan, Darkwood Crew volunteer and secretary at Ferguslie Community Council, said

We’re incredibly grateful to Paths for All for their support. The grant has been crucial in allowing us to begin phase one of the wider three-stage regeneration project which aims to revitalise village green into the valuable public resource that it can be.
One of Darkwood Crew’s main aims is to enhance the health and well-being of local people through increased opportunities to use the area in a positive way. This means we need to make sure that it’s regularly and properly maintained.
This includes things such as minor tree surgery work, hedge cutting, weeding, edging of the path network, litter-picking and graffiti removal.
Cleaning up the area and equipping it with the necessary infrastructure will help to connect local amenities, homes and open spaces, providing a more accessible environment for people of all age groups to gather and socialise.
With the first phase of regeneration taking place at the moment, it’s already clear that the changes are doing wonders for the people of Ferguslie Park.

Darkwood Crew believes that encouraging wider usage of the area will help to address a number of socio-economic issues that persist in the local community, including isolation and loneliness, health inequalities and lack of educational attainment.
Phase one of the Ferguslie Park regeneration project is estimated to be completed by May 2020.

Darkwood Crew's grant was support by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH).

Caroline Fyfe, SNH Strategic Paths and Funding Officer, said: “We’re delighted that this funding is supporting groups of volunteers like the Darkwood Crew to make a real difference in some of our most deprived areas. Good quality, accessible paths are so important for encouraging people to be more active and connect with nature in their local communities, with all the many health benefits that can bring.

“This project is a great example of how these grant schemes are helping to transform local path networks across Scotland as part of the Know Your Routes campaign.”

Paths for All has awarded £72,560 worth of grants to 44 groups across Scotland as part of the Know Your Routes campaign.

This year’s grant schemes have been funded by Scottish Natural Heritage, Transport Scotland and the Scottish Government.