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Mid Ulster

Results of Maghera Leisure Enhancement Scheme Revealed

Refereeing the official opening of the extension to the Leisure Centre facilities in Maghera were the Chair of Mid Ulster District Council, Councillor Paul McLean and Rural Affairs Minister, Edwin Poots, MLA.

The results of the recently completed Maghera Leisure Centre enhancement scheme have been revealed today, as an inaugural exhibition match between representatives from the Northern Ireland Ladies and Mid Ulster Ladies footballs teams was the first game to be played on the new 3G pitch, a key element of the project.

Refereeing the official opening of the extension to the Leisure Centre facilities in Maghera were the Chair of Mid Ulster District Council, Councillor Paul McLean and Rural Affairs Minister, Edwin Poots, MLA.

The strategic scale project resulted in the construction of a brand new 3G pitch with floodlights; a trim trail and the upgrading of the existing play park at the complex with accessible and inclusive play apparatus. Work was also completed on the Crewe Road footpath as part of the scheme.

Councillor Paul McLean, Chair of Mid Ulster District Council said,

“It’s fantastic to see the enhancements made to recreational facilities here in Maghera, which improve the standard and quality of recreational opportunities for the residents of Maghera and its surrounding communities. Our goals with this development are to encourage greater engagement with sport, particularly for young people; to increase access to leisure for rural dwellers and develop grassroots amateur and professional sport; and to ensure inclusive play opportunities for all. We must thank the other team players in the project, DAERA for their significant funding support, and the Mid Ulster Rural Development Partnership for assisting with delivery of the project.”

Rural Affairs Minister, Edwin Poots MLA said, “Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic more people visited outdoor spaces for exercise and this trend has continued. As we continue on the pathway to recovery I am delighted to see the completion of these excellent outdoor facilities at Maghera Leisure Centre, which my Department has contributed £500,000 through the Rural Development Programme.

“The total £1M investment which has resulted in an excellent 3G pitch, an upgrade to the playpark, flood lighting and additional car parking will improve the standard and quality of the recreational infrastructure for the residents of Maghera and the surrounding communities. 

“Recreational activities are very important and play a large part in sustaining the health and well-being of communities. These facilities will provide current and future generations in Maghera with an excellent resource to enjoy in the weeks, months and years ahead.

“I congratulate the Mid Ulster LAG for all their work in developing and delivering against their rural strategy for the benefit of rural communities in the Mid Ulster area.”

Players from Northern Ireland Ladies International and Mid Ulster Ladies football teams put the new 3G pitch at Maghera Leisure Centre through its paces.

Chair of the Mid Ulster Rural Development Partnership LAG, Conor Corr said,

“The Village Renewal Scheme is a central theme of our local rural development strategy and working in partnership we have managed to reach near every village across the district. To date we have allocated and approved over £3.6m in funding for these Village Renewal projects as part of our overall funding programme totalling £9.3m across Mid Ulster”.

“The LAG approved £500,000 in funding to this superb facility here in Maghera. This along with all of the funding approved under the Village Renewal Scheme has been vitally important in providing local, accessible and quality facilities in rural areas which helps strengthen the very nature of our rural community infrastructure”

Funding for this project was approved by Mid Ulster Rural Development Partnership and part-funded 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.

Mid Ulster

Council Celebrates National Allotments Week 2021

Chair of the Council, Councillor Paul McLean is pictured with Angela Lagan from St Mary’s Church Maghera, which was allocated a raised bed in the Walled Garden, Maghera.

To celebrate this year’s National Allotments Week (9 – 15 August), Mid Ulster District Council is holding an outdoor community gardening event on Wednesday 11 August at Maghera Walled Garden.

The event, which is organised in conjunction with The Conservation Volunteers, is free to attend and will promote environmentally friendly gardening and encourage gardeners’ to start growing fruit and veg in a climate friendly manner.

The theme for this year is ‘plotting for the future’ to celebrate the contribution of allotments to a sustainable future.

On the day participants will be guided in small groups around a number of information stalls to :

  • Hear tips and advice on climate friendly gardening
  • Exchange ideas with fellow gardeners
  • Learn to sow some late summer salad crops
  • Find out how to attract pollinators into the garden and gather ideas for simple bee and bug homes
  • Experience and get inspired by the beautiful Walled Garden.

The event is mainly targeted at members of local allotments and community gardening groups but there are also places available for interested residents in Mid Ulster.

To ensure social distancing is adhered to, three different sessions will take place on the day; late morning session, 11am – 12.30pm; mid-day session, 1pm – 2.30pm and the afternoon session, 3pm – 4.30pm.

Chair of the Council, Councillor Paul McLean said,

“The COVID-19 pandemic has seen a huge increase in home gardening. More people than ever are growing their own fresh fruit and vegetables, which can have an extremely positive effect on overall health and wellbeing.

“With this event, we are hoping to develop this awareness even further and demonstrate how we can all garden in an environmentally friendly way, using less plastic, going peat-free, avoiding chemicals whenever possible, and garden more wildlife friendly to attract beneficial pollinators such as bees and butterflies to our gardens.

“Places are going to book up fast so I would encourage anyone interested to apply now before it’s too late.”

Jenny McGetrick, Senior Project Officer with The Conservation Volunteers (TCV) added: “TCV have been working in partnership with Mid Ulster District Council for many years to provide practical support for local allotments and community gardening groups in the area.

“We are delighted to be present at the forthcoming event with plenty of useful information, advice and growing tips on late summer sowing which will help vegetable gardeners to extend their growing season and make best use of available resources in their gardens, backyards or window sills.”

Places are strictly limited and must be booked in advance by emailing stating participants’ name, home address, email address and preferred session. Places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis so book early to avoid disappointment.

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Mid Ulster

New Consultation On Plans For Gortgonis Leisure Hub

An impression of the proposed leisure, health and well-being hub at Gortgonis, Coalisland.

Mid Ulster District Council is to undertake a renewed consultation with the local community on plans to develop a leisure, health and well-being hub at Gortgonis, Coalisland.

The £5M project will ultimately see a new leisure centre constructed, incorporating a gym, community hall, changing rooms and meeting rooms, with planned outdoor facilities to include a 6-lane running track, 3G pitch, woodland walkways and two connected play areas, one for young children and one equipped for older children.

While a ‘pre-application notification’ (PAN) process was already undertaken by the Council in November 2018, a procedural error with the wording of the public notice advertisement has since been identified and the pre-application notification process, including community consultation is now being re-commenced.

A dedicated website will be available with details of the proposed application, where anyone can leave their feedback online, and two virtual meetings will also be held to allow local people to feedback their views on the proposals.

Residents living within 200m of the site will receive direct notification of the renewed consultation process with feedback forms included in their information packs.

The community consultation opens on Monday 9th August and runs until Friday 23rd August.

Two virtual presentation events will take place on Monday 9th August, the first from 10am to 11am and the second from 6pm to 7pm.

Those interested in registering on either of the events can do so in advance by emailing, specifying their preferred time slot.

To view the plans for the project and to feedback your views, visit from Monday 9 August 2021.

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