NEILSTON residents are being urged to help shape proposals for new facilities at Madras Place and Kingston Park.

Earlier this year, Neilston Community Council asked for suggestions for public realm improvements people would like to see in the village.

A toddlers' play area in Madras Place playpark was one of the most popular suggestions, along with an outdoor gym at Kingston Park.

Now locals are being invited to vote on which equipment they would like to see in the playpark and gym, which will be funded by East Renfrewshire Council.

A range of swings, slides, turnstiles and more are up for consideration at the playpark, while the gym could potentially include a chest press, calisthenics centre and a zip line.

In addition, the community council has begun investigating the possibility of additional CCTV and security lighting at Kingston Park.

This was a key issue that was raised during the consultation process, with many expressing concern for the safety of the new gym equipment and users in the face of ongoing vandalism and anti-social behaviour.

The community council is now pursuing the possibility of installing an 'intelligent' lighting scheme that would provide path lighting when required, as well as flood lighting for the outdoor gym pods.

However, this would require additional funding of around £70,000, most of which would have to be sought from the European Union.

Jim Sheriff, secretary of Neilston Community Council, said: "There is still some work to do and money to raise if we want to add in the security features.

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"Our intention would be to make an application to the European Union LEADER Fund for the additional money. This application would need to be made by ERC in co-operation with the existing partners.

"Effectively, an investment of £10,000 could get us £60,000 from the fund but, as the council owns the land, they would have to pay the first part and submit the application.

"We are still waiting to meet with ERC on this to take it forward.

"We would hope that these developments will improve the options for play and exercise outdoors for citizens across Neilston, for toddlers, youths and adults.

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"The addition of the lighting and CCTV would improve utilisation of the equipment and improve the mental wellbeing of people, making them feel secure in East Renfrewshire."

The deadline for applying for EU funding is November 15 and the full backing of the council will be required before it can be made.

A local planning meeting will be held in Neilston Parish Church Hall on Wednesday, September 26, between 5.30pm and 9.30pm, where people can drop in to see the diagrams and vote for what they want on paper.

Residents have until Thursday, September 27, to take part in the surveys, which can be found online at

Mr Sheriff added: "The more people we can get to respond to the survey and turn up at the meeting on September 26, the better."