A HISTORIC park is set to undergo a £5.3 million revamp as part of radical plans to restore the 17th century green space to its former glory.
Striking new images have revealed ambitious proposals for Saughton Park, including the restoration of the walled gardens, bandstand and winter gardens.
The sprawling park – once a rival to the Royal Botanic Garden – would also boast a new cafe, public toilets, staff facilities, community venue and volunteer base in the current stable block.
Councillor Lesley Hinds, the city’s environment leader, said: “Saughton Park has a long and proud history and this is your chance to help give it a fantastic future.
“I think these proposals are very exciting and will restore the park to its former glory, to be enjoyed by residents from nearby and beyond.
“That’s why it’s so important that people take part in the consultation and tell us what they think of our ambitious plans.”
I think these proposals are very exciting and will restore the park to its former glory.”Lesley Hinds
The grounds were originally established as part of Saughton Hall in 1649, before being bought by the council and opened to the public between 1900 and 1905.
It was redesigned for the Scottish National Exhibition in 1908 which drew 3.5 million people to marvel at the attractions, including a Senegalese village, a helter-skelter and a figure-of-eight railway.
Work began in 2012 on plans to transform its fortunes, which will also include a diverse programme of events to attract more visitors to the park.
Locals have hailed the proposals to transform the park, said Pat Carr, chairwoman of Stenhouse, Saughton Mains and Whitson Community Council.
Ms Carr said: “We are fully behind it and will support the plans in any way we possibly can. We have been hoping for a long time that the park will be revived. It has been underused for years and there is nothing to attract people to come through.
“Lots of people in the community are getting involved through gardening groups and history groups.
“It seems as though it’s going to be super.”
The exhibitions will run throughout March at various locations, including Saughton Park, Carrickvale Community Centre and Slateford Green Community Centre.
City chiefs will make a second bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for the funding to carry out these restoration works, following the end of the public consultation on April 6.
Almost £400,000 was secured last year from HLF to develop the design plan.