Work gets underway on Eglinton playpark
Work is underway on major upgrades for Eglinton playpark that will include environmental changes and a diverse range of new equipment.
Contractors AMS Limited are now on site and have started the upgrades which will see 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, a selection of swings for different ages and abilities including a pendulum swing and a zip line (especially catering for older children).
The Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Alderman Graham Warke cutting the first sod as construction gets underway on the upgrade at Eglinton Play Park. Included from left are David Mullan, AMS, main contractors, Councillor Rachel Ferguson, Emma Quinn, DAERA, main funders, Debbie Caulfield, manager, Community Hall, Eglinton, Karen Kirkegaard, project manager, Allan Bogle, DCSDC and Paul Kelly, Park Ranger, DCSDC. (Photo: Jim McCafferty Photography)
There will be a toddler area with a mini multi-unit, toddler swings and springers opening up the facility for families with younger children.
The playpark will also have new tree planting, seating and picnic benches to provide quieter areas to play and socialise.
The project is being 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.
In March it was announced that funding of £318,000 has been supplied to complete the work, with £213,000 provided by DAERA, £75,000 from 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 which aims to promote inclusion and accessibility to active recreation venues.
Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Alderman Graham Warke, said work commencing is a welcome step forward.
"It's great to see this work get underway and I'm sure it is very welcome news for the children and families in Eglinton.
"The plans for the upgrades are very exciting and, once complete, will provide a safe space for children where they can go and have fun, exercise and enjoy some fresh air.
"There is a wide range of equipment being installed that will cater to children of different ages and abilities, and the green spaces and new trees are also in line with Council's Green Infrastructure Plan which focuses on utilising natural spaces to provide environmental, economic and social benefits.
"As a Council, addressing play provision in rural areas is a significant part of our play plan moving forward and this work is a symbol of that commitment."
He continued: "Additionally, in my role as Chair of the Derry and Strabane Rural Partnership (LAG), I recognise playparks such as these are vital for our rural communities, and this space is a significant one within the village – one where children and parents can meet, and which helps develop community relations.
"The LAG are looking forward to seeing this work completed in the near future to the benefit of everyone in Eglinton and the surrounding areas."
DAERA's Director of Rural Affairs Paul Donnelly said, "I am delighted that this investment, which the department funded, will result in enhanced play facilities for children and will improve the standard and quality of recreational infrastructure for the residents of Eglinton area. I congratulate Derry Strabane Rural Partnership Local Action Group for all their work delivering against their rural strategy for the benefit of rural communities in the Derry City and Strabane District Council area."
Debbie Caulfield, Eglinton Community Association, added: "Actually seeing the contractors on site and the work getting underway has been really exciting for everyone in Eglinton – both children and adults alike!
"This space will make such a difference within the village and for those in the surrounding rural areas and we are all waiting in anticipation to see it finished."