Revamped Brooke Park shortlisted for awards

Brooke Park has been restored to its former glory. (Lorcan Doherty Photography)

Brooke Park has been restored to its former glory. (Lorcan Doherty Photography)

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The newly regenerated Brooke Park has been shortlisted for two prestigious industry awards by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

The park, which was reopened to the public back in September following a £5.6m revamp, has been shortlisted in the categories of Community Benefit and Regeneration, and faces competition from a number of significant developments from across the north.

Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Alderman Hilary McClintock, said the shortlisting recognised the quality of the work that went into the transformation of the Victorian Park.

“I am delighted to see Brooke Park listed among the many fantastic developments highlighted by the RICS,” she declared.

“The park is the result of many years work to sympathetically restore it to its former historic glory, while meeting the modern and practical needs of the general public in terms of its facilities.

“My fingers are crossed that we get good news when the awards are announced in May.”

The RICS Awards showcase the most inspirational regional initiatives and developments in land, property, construction and the environment, and recognises outstanding work by surveyors, property developers, engineers, planners and architects.

The Regeneration of Brooke Park was led by MWA Partnership and constructed by Woodvale Construction Ltd with funding support from Council, the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Department for Communities.

Director of Environment and Regeneration with Derry City and Strabane District Council, Karen Phillips, said: “This is a fitting acknowledgement of the extensive work which has gone into the park, which is one of Council’s most successful capital development projects to date.

“The work captures the essence of the original park, and recreates the sense of a tranquil green space in the centre of a busy urban landscape which can be shared by all.”

Brooke Park was first opened to the public in 1901, when it was a popular destination of social activity at the heart of the city.

Over the decades the park gradually declined, particularly during the Troubles, and it became a priority project for Council as part of its Parks Development programme, occupying one of the city’s prime urban sites.

The £5.6m project has now resulted in the restoration of the historic pathways, formal planting, and terrace at the site and the reinstatement of the ornamental oval pond.

A new contact sports centre has been constructed and a 3g synthetic pitch created for leisure users, as well as a state of the art play garden for families. Facilities on site also include the very successful Gwyn’s Café & Pavilion which occupied the historic site of Gwyn’s Institute a former boys’ orphanage which occupied the site since the 1840’s. A new Horticulture & Environment Training Centre has been created which is managed by The Conservation Volunteers.