Strathfoyle shot down for play park funding

Eamon O'Donnell and Paul Hughes pictured last year with some of the children and parents who are waiting for a new playpark to be developed at Strathfoyle. DER4414-120KM
Eamon O'Donnell and Paul Hughes pictured last year with some of the children and parents who are waiting for a new playpark to be developed at Strathfoyle. DER4414-120KM

A Strathfoyle community worker has expressed outrage after a funding application for a play park in the estate was rejected.

Paul Hughes from Enagh Youth Forum was featured on a video uploaded to the Forum’s Facebook page on Thursday speaking of the community’s dismay and disappointment that their application for support was turned down.

Mr Hughes said they had been told their application- which ran to hundreds of pages- was rejected because they did not demonstrate sufficient evidence of need.

Mr Hughes said this was despite the application being submitted with input and support from all local community groups and despite planning permission being secured.

“The people of Strathfoyle are angry right now,” he said.

Mr Hughes added that there had been consultation with the Polish community and Travellers to make sure it was as inclusive as possible.

He also questioned how some areas of Derry could have four and five play parks when Strathfoyle had none.

He urged local people to “rise up and tell people we refuse to become the forgotten community and fight back.”

A spokesman for Space & Place said: “Whilst Space & Place do not discuss individual applications, we do, however, offer one-to-one feedback sessions to all unsuccessful applicants to discuss the decision and look at learning for the future.

“Despite the fact groups can no longer apply to Space & Place for further funding, we believe the information provided at feedback sessions can be of use in future applications to other funders.

“The legacy of the Space & Place programme is more than just the physical development, it’s about connecting people and communities.

“We hope even those who are unsuccessful in securing funding will have gathered information and knowledge through the application and consultation process that will help their community in the future, helping them to secure revenue or capital funding.”