Waterside to get two new play parks

Derry City and Strabane District Council Mayor Elisha McCallion. Picture Martin McKeown. Inpresspics.com. 01.04.15
Derry City and Strabane District Council Mayor Elisha McCallion. Picture Martin McKeown. Inpresspics.com. 01.04.15

The Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council Councillor Elisha McCallion has welcomed news that the Department for Social Development (DSD) has approved £570,000 towards the development of two play parks in the Council area.

Welcoming the announcement, the Mayor said the news that DSD has issued contracts for play parks at Irish Street and Rose Court, to the value of £285,000 each, was fantastic news for the city and district and for those living in these areas of the Waterside.

The projects were funded through the Department for Social Development (DSD) and £60,000 from Derry City and Strabane District Council’s Parks Development programme, in partnership with local community associations Hillcrest Trust, the Waterside Neighbourhood Partnership and Irish Street Community Association, and are expected to be completed by March 2016.

She praised everyone involved in the projects, emphasising the positive working relationship between the funding bodies and the community groups involved.

“This is another example of local communities identifying a need in their local area and working with the Council and the DSD to secure relevant funding to provide much needed facilities for their area. I am delighted that the Irish Street and Rose Court areas are to benefit from much needed investment in play facilities and confident the new play areas will benefit the entire community.

“The importance of play and outdoor activity for children cannot be understated particularly at a time when computer games and television feature so prominently in the everyday lives of our children and young people. The Council is committed to play provision in the city and district and to actively encouraging children and young people to get involved in play and an active healthy lifestyle, she added.

Claire Russell, Centre Manager with the Irish Street Community Centre, said: I am delighted with the news that Derry City and Strabane District Council (DCSDC) have secured funding from the Department for Social Development’s (DSD) Capital funds to refurbish the play parks in both Irish Street and Top of the Hill. This will totally transform the current park in Irish Street, which has been in existence for up to fifty years, with little or no redevelopment during this time. But more importantly, it will provide our children and young people with a new, up-to-date, safe and welcoming environment for them to play. There is no doubt that this investment will help to improve the physical health and mental well-being of families in the Irish Street area and beyond. This is an example of a bottom up community development approach, working at its best, and it would not be possible without our statutory partners; DSD, DCSDC and Waterside Neighbourhood Partnership, and I would like to thank them very much for their much needed investment and continued support. “

Geraldine O Donnell, Strategic Development Manager with Hillcrest Trust said: “I welcome today’s announcement that we have secured funding from the Department for Social Development for play parks in both Top of the Hill and Irish Street. These play parks, will not only improve the physical image of these areas but will provide safe, fun and stimulating environments which will hugely benefit local children in many ways by improving young people’s health and wellbeing as well as their development and learning. This successful funding bid is an example of statutory agencies and community organisations working collaboratively to deliver projects that will make a real and lasting difference to the lives of many.”