YOUNGSTERS in Johnstone will soon be able to enjoy a new play area in their local park.

The latest addition to Thomas Shanks Park could see the installation of a pump track, which is a circuit of rollers, banked turns and features used by BMX riders and skateboarders.

However, Johnstone Community Council will first consult with local youngsters to find out if they approve of the plans before committing to the pump track.

The £48,000 project is being funded by Renfrewshire Council’s Green Spaces, Parks and Play Areas and Villages Investment Fund.

Chris Gilmour, deputy chairperson of Johnstone Community Council, told The Gazette: “We are delighted with this award and we will soon be consulting with local young people to see how this money should be spent.

“We will be speaking to pupils at local schools and doing a social media consultation as well.

“We will also secure the support of Thorn Athletic and all the local tenants’ and residents’ associations.”

There will be a board display of the proposals for the pump track at Thorn Athletic Sports Academy on Tuesday, April 5, and Wednesday, April 6, between 4pm and 5.30pm each day.

The Gazette: Johnstone Community Council officials Tom Wallace and Chris Gilmour have welcomed the new funding that will be spent at Thomas Shanks ParkJohnstone Community Council officials Tom Wallace and Chris Gilmour have welcomed the new funding that will be spent at Thomas Shanks Park

Iain McMillan, secretary of Johnstone Community Council, hopes the chosen project will be installed in the park by the end of the summer.

He said: “If local young people are happy with the pump track, it’s going to be unique not just to Thomas Shanks Park but to the whole of Renfrewshire.

“I’d like to thank the council for this award and, after working with them to improve the infrastructure of the park, this will allow us to give the park a further boost.”

The proposed pump track is one of three projects that were approved at the latest meeting of the council’s communities, housing and planning policy board.

Lochwinnoch Community Development Trust has received £25,000 to build a community social garden on leased land behind Lochwinnoch Parish Church, sharing it with local group Local Energy Action Plan (LEAP).

The garden will provide for residents through a community market and foodbank, while they would also look to add flower beds, vegetable patches and an outdoor classroom, including a sensory garden and learning space.

Elsewhere, Robertson Park Bowling Club has been handed £16,675 towards a new irrigation system, which will help ensure the greens are maintained throughout the year, particularly during the dry summer months.

It will help the club maintain their regular matches, as well as the weekly school sessions they provide for pupils from Newmains Primary, Arkleston Primary, Kirklandneuk Primary and St James’ Primary.