Mill of Haldane

Play Facility Aspirations

The Group
Mill of Haldane is a housing estate of some 1200 households in Balloch, West Dunbartonshire. The Haldane Regeneration Group aims ‘to work in partnership to improve the quality of life for residents living of Mill of Haldane by dedication, inspiration and innovation'.

What were they trying to achieve?
The project aimed to identify the needs and aspirations of local people in relation to play areas for the estate. The group identified a set of outcomes they wished to achieve related to enhancement of the estate and greater involvement of, and more positive views and aspirations of, children and young people.

How did they go about it?
The project was managed by a research team of two youth workers from the Tullochan Trust (a youth project based in the area), the coordinator of the Haldane Regeneration Group, and a research consultant. Consultation was carried out with young people aged five to 18 through mapping exercises, site visits and a survey conducted by young people. Views of adults were gathered through focus groups, open forum consultations, and consultation with the local Disability Forum. In total, around 550 people were consulted; and around 30 children and young people learned research skills.

From the initial research, seven options were identified and participants at a Family Fun Day were asked to rank these. An adventure playground and a skate park were the most popular. Various potential sites were also assessed. There was a high degree of agreement between children, young people and adults in terms of safety concerns and the types of facilities required.

What did they learn?
The research resulted in 12 specific recommendations about play, youth facilities and safety in the area. The outcomes were reviewed and revised to produce specific short-, medium- and long-term goals:

  • Children and young people to have direct involvement in the regeneration process
  • Parents and children to have an input into future play area developments
  • Evidence of new services being developed and delivered
  • Development of new facilities
  • Mechanisms in place for feedback from the community
  • Greater pride and community ownership
  • Improved lighting and CCTV
  • A thriving community that is held up as a model of good practice in sustainable regeneration.

What difference did it make?
Since the project was completed, the following has taken place:

  • Creation of a youth committee, Haldane Youth Action Group, funded by a grant from Children in Need, to be a voice for children and young people in the regeneration process
  • Creation of an environmental action plan, outlining play and recreation projects required in the area
  • Funding from Communities Scotland and West Dunbartonshire Environment Trust to build two multi-purpose sports courts and two youth shelters
  • Young people and children helped to develop plans for the sports courts and youth shelters 
  • With the involvement of young people, plans commenced for a sensory garden and adventure play park 
  • A number of the projects have developed into models of good practice with Communities Scotland, Housing Wider Action and Community Webnet. 

See D Burns, N Porciani and A Flynn, Community Research into Play Facility Aspirations for Mill of Haldane. Balloch: Haldane Regeneration Group.

David Burns
Regeneration Coordinator
Haldane Regeneration Group
50-52 Cook Road
G83 8AE 
Tel:  01389 710569