The Regeneration of Brooke Park by Derry City and Strabane District Council has been awarded the prestigious ‘Green Flag’ status at a ceremony in Bangor Castle yesterday.
The Green Flag is a worldwide award to recognise publicly accessible parks and green spaces that meet strict, benchmarked criteria including maintenance, sustainability, safety and community involvement.
Brooke Park was reopened to the public in September, 2016 following an extensive £5.6m regeneration of this historic landscape.
The project was funded by Council, Heritage Lottery Fund through its Parks for People Programme and the Department for Communities and has been a resounding success with the public to date.
Speaking at the presentation, Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Colr. Maolíosa McHugh, said the award represented just recognition for the high quality management of the new civic amenity.
“I would like to congratulate the council’s Parks Management & Development Team for all their hard work in ensuring that the People’s Park meets the high standards required for Green Flag status,” he said.
“The transformation of the park into a state of the art facility for leisure, play and relaxation has not only restored the park to its former glory but has enriched the lives of local people by providing a hub for social and leisure activity.
“I would also like to acknowledge the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Department for Communities without whose financial support this project wouldn’t have been possible.”
A spokesperson for Keep N. Ireland Beautiful who award the Green Flags added: “We were delighted to celebrate another successful year for the Green Flag Awards with the presentation to the winning sites of their much deserved awards this week.
“The Green Flag Award scheme recognises and rewards well managed parks and green spaces, setting the benchmark for the management of recreational outdoor spaces across the United Kingdom and around the world.
“The awards are judged every year by green space experts who volunteer their time to visit sites and assess them against eight strict criteria, including horticultural standards, cleanliness, sustainability and community involvement.”
“The flag now flying at Brooke Park is testament to the efforts of the many men and women, both staff and volunteers, who work tirelessly to maintain the high standards demanded by the Green Flag Award.”
Head of Heritage Lottery Fund in N. Ireland, Paul Mullan, offered the team at Derry City and Strabane District Council his congratulations.
“On behalf of Heritage Lottery Fund I would like to congratulate everyone associated with the restoration and regeneration of Brooke Park on this prestigious accolade which recognises the high standards the project has met.
“Since its reopening, the Park has been enjoyed by people of all ages, offering a place to socialise, play, relax and unwind and we were delighted to have been able to use National Lottery money in such a fabulous project.”