The Crieff Highland Gathering has a vision to create an iconic home in Market Park together with a centre of excellence for Highland Games and a valued community hub for the people of Crieff.
Anna McLean, Chair of the Crieff Highland Gathering said “it is our ambition to establish a unique home for the annual Gathering and international centre for Highland Games athletes, pipers, dancers, judges and officials – teaching all aspects of the traditional games. The facilities will also be open for the Crieff community throughout the year to increase community activity, improve health outcomes and social cohesion.”
It is important to the Crieff Highland Gathering that these facilities are inclusive for all ages and abilities, includes digital technology to widen its reach, and does not duplicate current provision in the town and indeed complements and works in collaboration with current providers.
The facilities will attract visitors to the area, create employment and provide programmes to help improve the wellbeing of the community and provide educational opportunities through training and outreach to schools.
Iain Watt, Chair of the Scottish Highland Games Association said “We support initiatives that help develop Highland Games while retaining traditions, so it’s great that Crieff may soon have a facility to train and inspire the competitors of the future, as well as enable current competitors to develop their skills. This has the potential to improve the quality of competition, make for more exciting events and help ensure the continuity of Scotland’s great games traditions.”
The Crieff Highland Gathering has already undertaken a needs analysis for the new facility. The work was undertaken by PMR Leisure last year and gave the Crieff Highland Gathering Committee the confidence that the need is there and to progress to full feasibility study.
Anna McLean said “Having consulted many local community organisations we feel that we have identified a potential facility which can become a hub for health, wellbeing and sport for our whole community to enjoy. The findings identify some key organisations who wish to call Market Park their new home or provide existing clubs based there, such as the Vale of Earn Football Club, with additional facilities to enable them to grow. We clearly see we can provide for gaps in provision and will not compete with existing organisations as we take the project forward.”
Anna continued “Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 pandemic we did not feel it appropriate to promote the findings to the wider community last year or move the project forward at that time. However, now that restrictions are being lifted, I am delighted to announce that we are progressing with our vision and want to hear from the community.”
PMR Leisure will be engaging with the community over the coming weeks. If you’d like to get involved or share your views you can do so by contacting Robin Strang on 07376 253747, by emailing LetsTalkMarketPark@hotmail.com or commenting via our Let’s Talk Market Park Facebook page www.facebook.com/talkmarketpark