Rope park offered to Oban

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An excellent set of outdoor adventure equipment for children has been offered free to Oban – with the race now on to save it from the scrapheap.

A rope park – valued at between £20,000 and £30,000 – is available from the former Kilbowie Outdoor Centre which is being cleared by demolition firm Dem-Master.

Suitable for youngsters eight and upwards and capable of being modified, community leaders have welcomed the offer to salvage what has been called a ‘wonderful’ resource.

But the question of where it might go still needs to be resolved, as do obstacles over its long-term maintenance.

Laura Corbe, a member of Oban Community Council and a volunteer director with the not-for-profit Adventure Oban group, raised the proposal with the community council.

She said it was an ‘excellent resource in great condition’ and that volunteers spent three days de-rigging it, with MacQueens Bros Ltd kindly offering free short-term storage until a site was found.

Laura said it might suit an area of council-owned land near the defunct swing frame at Ganavan with a public survey demonstrating a strong appetite for a play park there.

She said: ‘It would be nice to have a facility like the play park down there and I think it would be a really fantastic thing for the community council to be involved in.’

Oban Community Council members welcomed the offer but raised concerns about Ganavan as a location.

The rope park

The rope park requires a large footprint and members said it could present issues with health and safety, with uncertainty also about how it might be looked after long term.

Member Dougie Graham said: ‘It is a wonderful idea and I have seen it working in practice as well, but there are several sites in town that would probably lend itself better.’

Questions were raised over whether the youngsters might need to be professionally supervised.

Ms Corbe said that in terms of supervision, the equipment was no more ‘hazardous’ than the Glenview play park at Dalmally, which was freely accessible in it heyday.

Member Frank Roberts said it would be a ‘great’ thing for kids to play on but may present a potential ‘trip hazard’ – particularly if under age children attempted to go on it, or even young adults and teenagers who congregated at Ganavan on summer nights.

 

Member Duncan Martin said getting the rope park for Oban was ‘brilliant’ while Councillor Andrew Vennard backed the suggestion to sound out Atlantis Leisure and the play park group.

Councillor Roddy McCuish said: ‘To have an asset like this and not be able to make use of it, is a conundrum. If we have this piece of equipment let’s find somewhere to put it safely.’

It was agreed that a number of potential site owners be approached with notice also sent to the Oban, Lorn and the Isles area committee of Argyll and Bute Council in the hope it can be adopted by the authority.

Other potential sites include Oban High School and Oban Rugby Club or Dunbeg.