Plans for Strathfoyle play park progressing

Residents of Strathfoyle pictured at a previous protest outside the Guildhall.
Residents of Strathfoyle pictured at a previous protest outside the Guildhall.

News that a tender has gone out for a consultant team to take forward the Strathfoyle Play Park project has been welcomed this week.

The move follows confirmation several weeks ago that the full funding for the project is now in place.

The funding followed a long-standing campaign led by residents, community and political representatives. Derry City & Strabane District Council has decided to take forward the project for the residents in the area, after alternative, anticipated funding sources failed to materialise.

Paul Hughes from Enagh Youth Forum said: “The people of Strathfoyle are highly delighted to hear this important update. We have fought for almost 25 years for a play park to be built here. This was far too long to wait and no other community should ever have to go through what we did.

“This campaign was about needs and rights and we all can’t wait for the construction works to commence and for the play park to be opened, hopefully by Spring 2017.”

Sinn Féin Councillor for the area, Paul Fleming, who has lobbied for the facility, also welcomed the development.

He said: “I am pleased at the news that a tender has gone out for a lead consultant and multi-disciplinary integrated consultant team for the Strathfoyle Play Park.

“This is steady progress on our motion back in December calling on the council to provide the entire funding required for the construction of a play park for the wider Strathfoyle community which was ratified at full council.

“It’s important now that this moves to the next stage and the commencement and completion of this project takes place as quickly as possible.”

Mr Hughes meanwhile said that there was more campaigning needed to ensure that, “after years of neglect”, the full implementation of the Strathfoyle Community Plan, which includes a multi use games area and a greenway cycle path extension, proceeds.