PLANS to overhaul Renfrewshire’s play parks have been welcomed by councillors in Johnstone and Elderslie, who say the work will bring sites there “into the 21st century.”

Andy Steel and Jacqueline Cameron have welcomed proposals to refurbish the play area at Dunvegan Park, in Elderslie, and replace equipment at the corner of Elm Drive and Sycamore Avenue, in Johnstone Castle.

The two sites will be upgraded as part of a wider commitment from Renfrewshire Council to pump £1.25million into revamping one facility in each of the region’s wards, with proposals rubber-stamped by elected members last week.

Councillor Cameron said residents around Elm Drive would be particularly pleased following major works on council housing.

“This will be great news for the Castle, coming after completion of the Elm Drive housing works and the resurfacing of Elm Drive,” she said.

“Getting a play park fit for the 21st century would be another real boost for the area.

“Parks in other areas have benefitted from improvements funded by the Green Spaces Fund but it’s important nowhere is left behind, so I am really pleased to see Johnstone Castle being included in this project.

“Hopefully, it will encourage kids to get out and play and away from their computers.”

Councillor Steel added: “Every kind of exercise helps as we try to get back to normality.

“Providing kids with a park of decent quality would be a positive step in the right direction.”

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Old equipment at Dunvegan Park, in Elderslie’s Dunvegan Avenue, was taken away a while ago, with the village community council having to step in to get it replaced, Councillor Cameron said.

And she insisted Renfrewshire Council now had to do its bit to help revitalise the play area.

The Johnstone South and Elderslie representative added: “I was surprised when the previous, elderly play equipment was taken away with no replacement stock lined up. It was past its best but it was necessary to replace rather than simply remove.

“The removed equipment was replaced thanks to Elderslie Community Council but the council needs to play its part too. This refurb is therefore absolutely the right thing to do.”

Equipment at the play park in Johnstone’s Ellerslie Street will also be replaced.

Other parks which will receive completely new play areas include sites at Campbell Street and Tinto Square, in Renfrew; East End Park, Durrockstock Park and Maxwellton Park, all in Paisley; and Ardgryffe Park, in Houston.

Johnstone North councillor Emma Rodden said: “The equipment in the Ellerslie Street park has really had its day. My colleague Councillor Steel, who grew up on Thorn Brae, swears some of the stuff was there when he was a boy.

“It’s great to see this investment, which will hopefully get kids from the area and wider taking advantage of what’s on offer to socialise, play and get their lives back to pre-pandemic normality.”