Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey has announced investment of almost £230,000 for a regeneration project designed to replace a pedestrian entrance and to improve car parking facilities into St Columb’s Park.
An investment of £183,535 from the Department for Communities, £25,000 from the Executive Office and £21,160 from Derry City and Strabane District Council will enable the improvements to commence.
This funding package will see the creation of a new pedestrian entrance opposite the Peace Tree, giving better and safer access/egress to St Columb’s Park from Ebrington Estate and wider links to the Waterside and City Centre. The car park will be resurfaced, reconfigured and realigned allowing for disabled parking and will include ramps, a new pedestrian pathway linking the car park to the new entrance and new crossing points. Soft landscaping will further enhance the area with the planting of hedging and trees.
Minister Hargey said: “I am delighted to announce this funding which will progress and complement the continued regeneration of St Columb’s Park. This project will enhance this stunning public amenity providing a safer, welcoming space for wellbeing, where we can walk, cycle and enjoy the extensive green space benefiting both the local community and visitors to the area.
“My Department continues to support our town and city centres recover from the impacts of Covid-19 and with increased usage over the past year it is more important than ever to invest in our cities green spaces.”
Welcoming the news, Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Councillor Brian Tierney said: “I very much welcome the announcement of this funding which will enable us to finish works at the gateway to our beautiful St Columb’s Park, complementing the landscaping already completed on the Avenue. It will make accessing the park easier and more visually attractive for local people and visitors alike.
“Council continues to prioritise and invest in green space provision across the City and District and to identify opportunities to develop and enhance our green infrastructure to benefit the health, wellbeing and convenience of everyone. I want to thank our partners in the Department and The Executive Office, and commend everyone involved in the fantastic work on this project to date.”
This project has been jointly developed by The Executive Office and Derry City and Strabane District Council. The project will be managed by the Council who have already successfully completed a number of public realm projects in this beautiful park.
Delight as Donemana Village Renewal Project Completed
Work has now been completed on the Donemana Village Renewal Project which included a new and improved outdoor space in the village.
The work carried out has seen the installation of an outdoor garden with seating, raised beds, and planting as well as a small kickabout area with artificial grass and a goal wall including a basketball hoop. It also includes new steps to improve access to the outside area.
It was the fourth and final of a series of Small Parks Village Renewal Projects carried out by Derry City and Strabane District Council, with other projects completed in Artigarvan, Ardstraw and Drumahoe.
In Artigarvan and Ardstraw there were upgrades to play areas, with new equipment for each including a wheelchair accessible ground flush roundabout, basket swing and zip line, as well as landscaping improvements, while, in Drumahoe, an improved access pathway, adult exercise equipment, landscaping and signage was installed.
The combined cost of the four projects was £200,000 and they were delivered by Derry City and Strabane District Council with support from funding allocated by Derry and Strabane Rural Partnership under Priority 6 (LEADER) of the Northern Ireland Rural Development Programme 2014-2020 by the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs and the European Union.
Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Alderman Graham Warke, who is also the Chair of the Derry and Strabane Rural Partnership (LAG), said the completion of the project is fantastic news for Donemana and for the Drummond Centre Project after some challenging years.
“I’m absolutely delighted to visit Donemana and to see this work first-hand which provides a great space for the Drummond Centre Project and the Donemana community to enjoy.
“The green space ties in with our Council commitment within the Green Infrastructure Plan, and the recreational facilities are a space for young people to get some exercise in while socialising with friends.
“Facilities like this are so important for our rural communities and following the flooding of the original Drummond Centre Project’s premises in 2017 this is certainly a massive and well-deserved step forward for them.
“As Mayor and as Chair of the Derry and Strabane Rural Partnership it is my pleasure to attend the official opening of these new facilities and I want to wish the Drummond Centre Project and everyone in Donemana well as they enjoy this wonderful space.”
David Buchanan, The Drummond Centre, added: “This is a great day for everyone here in Donemana and for ourselves at The Drummond Centre Project.
“We have experienced a lot of ups and downs over the past few years so to have this facility now complete is a very positive achievement. It’s a space that we know will be so deeply appreciated and well-used by our young people and by everyone within the village.”
Advice and Support Available as Part of Alcohol Awareness Week
Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Alderman Graham Warke, has said being aware of recommended limits and the effects of alcohol, and education around the potential dangers of alcohol, is extremely important.
The message comes as part of Alcohol Awareness Week, which takes place from Monday 14th to Sunday 20th June. It is supported by the Public Health Agency and the five Drug and Alcohol Coordination Teams and centres around encouraging people to take a closer look at their drinking habits by counting their units to see if they’re staying within the recommended weekly limits.
Mayor Warke said that taking some time to evaluate personal alcohol consumption is recommended.
“Many people like to enjoy alcohol in moderation, but sometimes it can be very easy to find yourself consuming more than is recommended without even realising.
“This can have a negative impact on both mental and physical health, so it’s hugely important that everyone consuming alcohol is aware of the legal age, the recommended limits and is checking in on how that measures up with their own habits.
“The stresses and challenges of the past 16 months, and how much we have all been staying at home, may have led to some people drinking more alcohol than they typically would have before, so Alcohol Awareness Week this year is a particularly good opportunity to pick up a few helpful tips on how you can make small changes that will have a big difference in ensuring you can enjoy alcohol safely and in moderation.”