The development at Winchburgh, 12 miles west of Edinburgh, is one of the largest and most exciting placemaking projects currently underway in the UK. When complete, this ambitious development will see the construction of at least 3,800 new homes across the private and social rented sectors, improved transport links, employment opportunities, state-of-the-art schools and new outdoor spaces. A key part of the overall placemaking strategy for Winchburgh has been the creation of a new 36-hectare district park and associated infrastructure in part of the site formerly occupied by the Auldcathie Landfill, as well as the new shared education campus and sports facilities on the eastern periphery of the landfill site.
Auldcathie Park is the first ‘new park’ in Winchburgh, covering some 36ha it provides the largest area of public open space within Winchburgh. The park, which is part of the Masterplan for Winchburgh has been fully funded by Winchburgh Developments Ltd (WDL), with over £8 million invested to date, and has been driven by sustainable goals from the outset, utilising significant engineering innovation to make the land developable and full of benefits for the local community.
Phase 1 of Auldcathie Park opened in 2021 with Phase 2 currently under construction anticipated to open in 2023. Within Phase 1 of the park there is a wide range of amenities including a community growing area, adventure playground, dog park, areas of woodland, open meadows areas for informal play, picnic areas, trim trail and a temporary cafe. The Phase 2 works will include additional areas of woodland, a community orchard, extensive walking routes, a permanent pavilion building and an off-road bike park.
Community involvement has been key throughout the delivery of the park at all stages. From early consultation on the planning process through to community planting events and play park opening events the community has been involved adding value to the park as a community asset. The community involvement will continue through further planting events, the Winchburgh Community Growing Group, the adjacent schools using the park and specific events planned by the Artist in Residence. This open engagement process has continued as the park has been opened to the public, with continued community input identifying potential improvements to landscape management, opportunities for new additional lighting, a coffee van and public art within the park. Led by the community with support from WDL the first Parkrun event will be held in the park in early 2023.
OPEN has been involved in delivering Auldcathie Park on behalf of WDL from masterplanning, through detail planning to implementation on site. Staff at OPEN are currently working on the architectural design of the park pavilion building.
Winner of the "Best Sustainable/Urban Regeneration/Infrastructure Scheme" at the Environmental Analyst’s 18th annual Brownfield Awards Ceremony 2022