An ambitious plan to attract new funding into historic Kinneil Estate in Bo’ness has been endorsed by Falkirk Council’s executive.
The Kinneil Estate masterplan outlines a range of opportunities for the park, which is dominated by the imposing Kinneil House, dating back to the 15th century.
Suggested improvements could make the site more attractive to local people and visitors from further afield.
Councillors were told proposals within the plan could lead to a “transformation” of the site through a series of “innovative and well marketed visitor experiences”.
The plan was drafted by Falkirk Community Trust – which manages the estate for Falkirk Council - after consultation with the public, council officers and key stakeholders, including Bo’ness Community Council, The Friends of Kinneil charity and Historic Scotland. The plan outlines proposals and which could come to light over the next ten years, including relocating Kinneil Museum to the more imposing setting of Kinneil House, as part of a larger restoration plan within the House;
Other bullet points in clude:
*Improving Kinneil Woods and setting up mountain bike trails;
*Developing new opportunities for play and exercise;
*Improving natural habitats; and
*Improving interpretation, signage, access and car parking – as well as links to the neighbouring Bo’ness and Kinneil Railway.
The plan also looks to potential improvements to help the operation of the annual Bo’ness Hill Climb at Kinneil – as well as the potential to offer camping and caravanning.
Councillor Adrian Mahoney, Falkirk Council’s spokesman for culture, leisure and tourism, said: “The plan echoes many ideas supported by different groups and organisations within the local community. Some of these won’t be achieved overnight.
‘‘We can hopefully attract external funding to take some of these proposals forward. Kinneil Estate is an important site with huge potential.”
He added: “Since the plan was drafted, a few projects have started – such as the work to crop ageing parts of Kinneil Woods as well as efforts to consolidate the ruins of Kinneil Church.’’