The work, carried out by contractor AMS Limited, has seen the installation of many new features, including a wheelchair accessible multi-unit with different levels, towers, sensory panels, slides and climbing nets, a ground flush roundabout, ground flush trampoline, and a selection of swings for different ages and abilities, including a pendulum swing and a zip line.
There is also a toddler area with a mini multi-unit, toddler swings and springers as well as tree planting, seating and picnic benches to provide quieter areas to play and socialise.
Mayor Sandra Duffy, said: “This first class facility indicates the significance that Council continues to place on addressing play provision in our rural areas and providing a safe space for our local young people to exercise and to socialise, as well as their families. The new equipment caters for different ages and abilities and ensures that everyone will be able to enjoy this community space as their own.”
Debbie Caulfield, Eglinton Community Association, said: “As a community we are absolutely over the moon to see this playpark open now for everyone to enjoy. It’s a fantastic space and one that will be enjoyed by so many young people and families in Eglinton village and the surrounding areas and we look forward to it being packed with happy faces over the summer and beyond.”
Funding of £304,574 was provided to complete the works, with £217,285.50 from DAERA, £57,288.50 from Derry & Strabane Council and £30,000 allocated through the Department for Communities’ Regional Access and Inclusion Capital Grant Programme, facilitated by DCSDC’s Access and Inclusion Project.
Rural Affairs Minister, Edwin Poots MLA said, “I am delighted that this project will create a sense of civic pride in the village of Eglinton providing tangible benefits for users and will help this rural area reach its full potential. I want to thank Derry and Strabane Rural Action Group for all their hard work and dedication in bringing the project forward.”
Communities Minister, Deirdre Hargey, said: “I am delighted that my Department was able to support this project through its Access and Inclusion Programme which is aimed at addressing the physical barriers to engagement in arts, culture and active recreation by people with disabilities. The importance of play in the development of our children and young people cannot be underestimated.”
The project was delivered by Derry City and Strabane District Council with support from funding allocated by the Derry and Strabane Rural Partnership under Priority 6 (LEADER) of the Northern Ireland Rural Development Programme 2014-2020 supported by the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs and the European Union.
Mayor Duffy added: “The environmental updates are also in line with Council’s Green Infrastructure Plan which focuses on utilising natural spaces to provide environmental, economic and social benefits. Thanks to all the funders and partners involved in delivering this and best wishes to everyone in the Eglinton community as they enjoy this fabulous playpark.”
Minister Poots meanwhile said he was pleased that the Northern Ireland Rural Development LEADER Programme 2014-2020, Village Renewal Scheme is making a real change to the fabric of rural villages and is supporting projects that are based on community need.