St Columb’s Park set for major revamp

The ruins of St Brecan's Chapel at St Columb's Park. (0611PG31)
The ruins of St Brecan's Chapel at St Columb's Park. (0611PG31)

Plans for a major revamp of St Columb’s Park were revealed today.

The ambitious plans will include the redevelopment of the historic walled garden to the rear of St Columb’s Park House, and the replacement of the ‘Charley Dimmock Garden’ with a formal Lavender Garden.

St Columb's Park, Derry.

St Columb's Park, Derry.

A disused heli-pad will also be transformed into a community growing educational resource.

The project has been is listed as a priority capital project in the Strategic Growth Plan for the City and District.

Whilst the overall project costings are currently being developed, over £370,000 of external funding has been secured to date from Peace IV.

This funding will ensure the completion of the regeneration of the historic walled garden, supported by a programme of peace building activity.

Mayor of Derry and Strabane Council, Councillor Maolíosa McHugh, joined members in endorsing the plans at a meeting of the Council today, and said the work would enhance the visitor attraction and appeal of St Columb’s Park.

He said: “I am delighted to see this project move to the next stage, and the success of the ongoing partnership work behind the scenes being carried out by Council’s Parks Management & Development team, St Columb’s Park Trust and the Acorn Fund.

“I look forward now to seeing the delivery of the plans in time which will greatly enhance this beautiful parkland area and further improve the Park’s historic, cultural and landscape amenity to the benefit of the entire community.”

The project elements will now progress to submission of planning applications over the summer months whilst discussions are ongoing with potential funders.

Welcoming the news, Helen Henderson, Director of Columb’s Park House, said: “As the lungs of our city, St Columb’s Park is an important community resource and has huge potential to be a creative, shared space accessible to people from all walks of life for the common good.

“As a Peace Centre located in the heart of the park, St Columb’s Park House welcomes these exciting developments and aims to connect more with our outdoor spaces to progress our mission ‘to be the heart in the park helping to nurture peaceful, vibrant compassionate communities’.”

Shauna Kelpie, Programme Manager for the Acorn Fund, said the work would enhance the area as a popular shared community space and provide opportunities for people to engage with the natural environment in a new and fun way.