Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Councillor John Boyle, has visited the new ‘Invest in Play’ playpark projects in Kilfennan and Ballymagroarty where work has been completed ahead of their official opening to the public.
The eagerly awaited developments are jointly funded by the Social Investment Fund (SIF) under the NI Executive’s Delivering Social Change framework and Council through its Parks Development Programme.
The playparks are a joint project between Council, the Executive Office, the Caw / Nelson Drive Action Group and Ballymagroarty Community Association.
Modern and Safe
Mayor Boyle said he was delighted that the completion of the latest play provision projects continues Council’s commitment in the Strategic Growth Plan to develop an ambitious programme of play area developments throughout the Council area.
“I am delighted for the residents of Ballymagroarty and Kilfennan who now have close access to a modern and safe facility for young people and families to come together and play in the outdoors,” he said.
“As we have seen from the recently opened Invest in Play projects in Ballyarnett and Brandywell, these facilities can play a key role in promoting social interaction and physical activity among our young people at an early age.
“The project represents the culmination of years of collaborative work between Council, TEO and local residents and is the latest in an ambitious programme of play areas, regenerating parks, open spaces and an expanded greenway network across our Council area committed to in the Strategic Growth Plan.”
Better and Brighter Future
A spokesperson for the Executive Office added: “TEO welcomes the opening of the Kilfennan and Ballymagroarty projects which will make a tangible difference to young people’s lives and help build a better, brighter and more prosperous future for them.
“The completion of these works builds on the recently opened Ballyarnett and Brandywell play provision which together form the Invest in Play project. This project is further evidence of the positive changes that are possible when we work closely with local government and the local community to pool our ideas and resources, empowering the community with a renewed sense of hope and purpose.”
Christy Daniels from the Ballymagroarty Community Association echoed those comments:
“There is genuine excitement in the Ballymagroarty area that this much anticipated project will now open to the public. The park will play a particularly important role in offering local families a safe place to come together and play in the outdoors.”
Invest In Play
Linda Watson, co-ordinator of the Caw / Nelson Drive Action Group added: “We are delighted that our years of hard work and close working relationship with Council have come to fruition with the completion of this outstanding public facility.
“Children can gain a lot from playing together, it develops their social skills and helps keep them healthy and now the young people in our local area can reap those benefits.”
Noel Mc Cartney, Chair of the local SIF Steering Group, also welcomed the news: “I am delighted that work has been completed on the Kilfennan and Ballymagroarty projects.
“The Social Investment Fund will bring a total of £9.5m of investment to the city and I would like to acknowledge the role the late Martin McGuinness played in making this happen in his role as Deputy First Minister alongside Peter Robinson who was First Minister at that time.”