BBC’s Beechgrove Garden have filmed the transformation of the ‘Wimpy Park’ community open space in Alloa which has been designed by a Forth Valley College graduate.
Louisa Carberry (21) from Menstrie, completed her BA Art and Design at Forth Valley College in the summer of 2021 and landed a consultancy role with Clackmannanshire Council to develop the space with new gardens, play-park, football pitches, amphitheatre and architecture.
The exciting initiative has drawn interest from the popular BBC Scotland Beechgrove Garden show who spent a week filming the main body of work being carried out from Monday 23-Friday 27 August 2021.
Lou who is gearing up to start her Art and Design Honours year at the University of Stirling in September revealed that the area holds a special place in her heart as she had been volunteering with the Bowmar Community Group for several years before. Lou is no stranger to high profile roles as last summer (2020) she was selected recently to showcase her creative skills in the Street Stories initiative, launched recently by Go Forth Stirling Business Improvement District (BID).
She said: “It’s been absolutely amazing to be involved in this project and I am not surprised that the Beechgrove Garden came along to film as it is quite an exciting transformation. It has been quite stressful to be working full-time on it, but as I am working along with people who are passionate about the same thing, I am energised by them all. There are literally hundreds of volunteers who are involved with fundraising and with manual work in the park transformation, and it has been really, really great to be taken to heart by this community.
“I feel that studying for the BA Art and Design at Forth Valley College has been great for me and I would definitely recommend it. The opportunities that present themselves, through your studies make you more and more confident in your abilities to have a successful career in art and design and this project is another example of this.
“My advice to anyone doing a Creative Industries course at the College would be to make sure they take their Personal Development Planning seriously and take advantage of the research that you do into local funding bodies and opportunities for artists, as these were the leads which allowed me to get my first big break in live art projects such as the Street Stories. It is experience like this – and the Wimpy Park project – that can really push you forward as a professional artists and I advise budding artists to use this area of their studies well.”
Adam Blair, Assistant Producer for Tern TV, who produce the Beechgrove Garden for the BBC, said: "Lou is a terrific talent, she has adapted to this project with great confidence and ability. Working in tandem with the Wimpy Park Community Group and assisted by our Garden Design Consultant, Lou has helped create a garden design for the group that will have a lasting legacy for everyone who lives in the area. The whole Beechgrove team will be in Alloa to help where we can, we are extremely pleased to be working with Lou and we can’t wait to see her and the community’s plans come to fruition. Viewers will be able to see the fruits of the community’s labours on BBC 1 Scotland in the next few months.”
Linda Paterson, Curriculum Manager in FVC’s Department of Creative Industries, Hospitality and Tourism, said: “We are proud and delighted that Lou has been selected for this project. She is a great example of a student who seeks out opportunities and just goes for it. Even during these difficult times she has secured herself two prominent external projects in the past year, and the skills involved in undertaking projects such as these and working independently with external agencies, will serve her well in the future.”
Known as the ‘Wimpy Park’, the area in Alloa’s Bowmar Estate is a green space within a walled garden. The site is one of historical significance, as prior to 1962 it was part of the Mar Estate and was a formal garden within the grounds of Alloa House with the Hothouse, Orchard, Maze and Lawns used by the Mar family and by the local people. Now the Wimpy Park Community Group are working hard to regenerate the area for the local community.
Further information about FVC’s Art and Design courses can be found here https://www.forthvalley.ac.uk/courses/art-and-design .