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Mannachie play park, Forres in line for equipment upgrade

By Garry McCartney

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Sisters Caitlin and Nicole Donald are looking forward to seeing new equipment at Mannachie Park.
Sisters Caitlin and Nicole Donald are looking forward to seeing new equipment at Mannachie Park.

MORE than two years after a popular piece of equipment at a local play park broke, the local authority plans to address the issue.

In November 2019, local father of two Mark Donald called for the zipline at Mannachie park, which at that point had been out of action for a year, to be fixed but was told it was beyond economical repair by Moray Council and would only be replaced when the budget allowed.

The council recently confirmed that a new zipline will be installed at Linzee Gordon Park in Buckie, prompting the question – what about Forres? Councillor Aaron McLean (Forres, SNP) asked the lands and parks department for a definitive answer.

He was told: “There is budget in the capital plan for 2021/22 for some new play parks and the plan is to fund a new one from this for Mannachie. This should be done through participatory budgeting so there will be public consultation on what people would like to see there. If demand is still high for a zipline then a new one would be installed as part of it.”

On the condition of the existing Mannachie zipline, children’s play areas manager, Grant Speed, confirmed repairs are still not financially worthwhile.

He said: “There is rot around the bolts at the base of the main structural upright. The seat and chain have been removed so it can’t be used. Hopefully a new park will deal with the issue and a new zipline can be installed if that is what comes out of the public consultation in due course.”

Mr Donald and his girls, Nicole (12) and Caitlyn (8), look forward to any new equipment at Mannachie.

He said: “If repair isn’t financially viable, then is Moray Council willing to let other things valued by many just disappear? The zipline has been a huge miss at Mannachie – it was the best piece of equipment there.

“If they can install a new one elsewhere then they can replace or repair one here too.”

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