Future looks bright for Coll playpark project

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The future is looking bright for Coll’s ambitious playpark appeal.

With just a tiny resident population of 185, the island has made more than £11,000 towards the project since lockdown started in March.

The amount was announced by thrilled playpark supporters at the island’s recent Christmas tree light switch-on. The christmas raffle alone brought in £2,700.

Christmas lights on Coll

Alison Jones of Coll Community Playpark group says it has been ‘a tremendous effort’ from islanders with help from businesses on the island and off – including Tyree Gin and Farmhouse Cafe and artist Hope Blamire.

‘We have been bowled over by the support and generosity of the local and wider Coll community and its businesses, with several people making and selling Christmas crafts and donating the income to the playpark fundraiser.

‘The committee is pressing on with designs and planning as we look forward to considerable progress and a fantastic programme of fundraising events, fingers crossed, in 2021,’ she added.

Children living on Coll, which inspired the popular Katie Morag stories, have been without a play area for more than two years now and have got the support of Katie Morag author and illustrator Mairi Hedderwick’s grandson Sam Rutherford and partner Rosie Macgill.

The new play space, which could cost about £100,000, will go in the grounds of the community centre in the village for locals and visitors to use and it is hoped Katie Morag’s worldwide fans who adore her adventures on the magical isle of Struay will also give generously.

The old playpark, which was on land donated by the Coll Hotel, had become outdated and unsafe over time and had to abandoned.

The GoFundMe campaign can be found at www.gofundme.com/f/coll-community-playpark or if anyone wants to make a direct donation, email collplaypark@gmail.com