Close to £200K is to be invested in improving access to Mid Ulster District Council’s leisure and cultural facilities.
A total of 11 projects have been allocated funding under the Department for Communities (DfC) Access and Inclusion Capital Programme, which is designed to improve access to and participation in arts and cultural activity and leisure and outdoor recreational activity by people with disabilities.
All 7 of the Council’s leisure and sports centres will have new permanent and mobile ‘hearing loop systems’ installed, with new automatic and power-assisted doors in multiple locations across 4 leisure and recreation sites, including Tobermore Golf Centre, set to improve accessibility for customers yet further.
Greenvale Leisure Centre will have a Pool Pod system installed, giving unrestricted access to both the main and learner pools and ensuring customers requiring hoist access no longer have to pre-book or wait at the poolside.
The Burnavon theatre in Cookstown will use its funding to update its support hearing system and to enhance areas used for workshops and events with adjustable lighting and camera which will be of particular benefit to those with Autism Spectrum Disorder, sight problems and restricted movement.
The Bridewell Visitor Information Centre will also have existing heavy doors replaced with an accessible system, as well as new permanent and portable ‘hearing loop’ systems.
Outdoors, the funding will bring 10 new accessible picnic tables to picnic areas, parks and open spaces and inclusive play will be improved at the Fairhill play area in Cookstown with the installation of a new wheelchair swing.
Chair of the Council’s Development Committee, Councillor Dominic Molloy, welcomed the funding:
“If we truly want to see all of our residents being able to avail of opportunities to be physically active or to engage in arts and cultural activities and events, then projects like these are crucial to opening up access and building inclusivity.
“I look forward to seeing work starting to create more equitable and inclusive access to the Council’s facilities across Mid Ulster”.
Communities Minister, Deirdre Hargey said:
“My Department’s Access and Inclusion Programme is aimed at promoting a more inclusive society by improving accessibility at arts, cultural and active recreation venues for people with disabilities who often have limited opportunities to participate in activities that many of us take for granted.
“The improvements that are being taken forward by Mid Ulster District Council will help to open up these facilities to those with disabilities, providing them with the opportunity to increase their participation at a range of venues.”
All 11 projects are expected to be completed by 31 March 2022.
Mid Ulster Gift Card Launched Ahead Of Key Christmas Trading Period
A new gift card, designed to ‘lock-in local’ for the key Christmas trading period has been launched by Mid Ulster District Council.
The Mid Ulster Gift Card, valid in over 100 independent and national businesses right across the region, is intended to encourage customers to keep it local when shopping, eating out or enjoying their leisure time, and to boost the businesses in their high streets and main streets at the same time.
The new Mid Ulster Gift card is a ‘win-win’ for customers and businesses, according to Chair of the Council, Councillor Paul McLean:
“Our towns and villages have an unrivalled mix of quality independent retailers, as well as high street names, together with great cafes, bars, restaurants and hotels, and not forgetting the leisure and cultural venues where the card is also accepted.
“That means customers using the gift card have extensive choice and participating businesses help to ensure that we have greater opportunities to lock in spend to the local economy.
“Shopping local to support local companies has never been more important, as our businesses, particularly in the retail and hospitality sectors, continue to respond to the challenges of the pandemic.
“Our 100% investment in this project is another strand of our economic recovery plan to ensure we can all continue to enjoy strong, stable and vibrant towns and villages at the heart of our local communities”.
Local businesswoman Sammy-jo Dickson who runs 14th Avenue, a ladies and men’s clothing store in Dungannon, was among the first to sign up to the gift card scheme:
“The Mid Ulster gift card is a great incentive to support your local traders and shop local. This gift card will offer customers the freedom to choose from a great selection of shops and businesses throughout the Mid Ulster area”.
Mid Ulster Gift Cards are available to collect free of charge from Ranfurly House, Dungannon, The Burnavon, Cookstown and The Bridewell in Magherafelt. Customers then upload the amount they wish to add to the card by visiting www.midulstergiftcard.com.
Get Crafty this Halloween in Mid Ulster!
There’s plenty to keep children entertained this Halloween in Mid Ulster with a series of spooktacular and fun workshops taking place at a number of Council facilities across the district.
From designing Halloween themed kites and 3D sculpted Halloween heads, to live spooky shows, there’s something to suit all age groups. The workshops will take place at the Council’s arts centres and leisure facilities from Friday 22 – Saturday 30 October.
Chair of Mid Ulster District Council, Councillor Paul McLean, is encouraging residents to have a happy and safe Halloween in Mid Ulster.
“This year, for the second Halloween in a row, we yet again find ourselves in a peculiar and exceptional situation due to the impact of COVID-19. The safety and wellbeing of our residents and staff, and preventing the spread of COVID-19, must remain our top priority. For this reason, this year in celebration of Halloween we have organised a number of fun, crafty and creative workshops across the district for children of all ages to participate in.
“We continue to make great progress in our fight against COVID-19 and I have no doubt that if we all carry on playing our part, we will see a return to our usual large scale outdoor events in the near future. This year’s comprehensive programme of workshops has something to suit all ages and interests and will allow children to still experience that special Halloween magic. I wish everyone in Mid Ulster a happy and above all safe Halloween.”
For the list of all Halloween workshops taking place in Mid Ulster, and to book your place, visit: www.midulstercouncil.org/halloween21.