Source: Northern Ireland – City of Derry
06 November 2020
Construction has gotten underway on a new play area in Parkside, Sion Mills.
The £318,000 play park is being 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.
Contractors Milligan Bros Limited have begun work on the area that will have equipment to cater for children of all ages and abilities – including a wheelchair accessible ground flush roundabout, swings for different ages and abilities, sensory equipment and quiet areas with sound, visual and tactile elements. There will also be a zip line, a pendulum swing, an obstacle course, multi units with towers, climbing nets and slides for different ages.
The park is in a natural setting, with play equipment located among trees, grass and meadow areas – tying in with Council’s Green Infrastructure Plan, which focuses on utilising natural spaces to provide environmental, economic and social benefits.
Sion Mills was identified by Derry and Strabane Rural Partnership as a strategic Village Renewal Project, with £195,000 in grant funding set aside for the new play park. The funding is part of the Rural Development Programme funded by DAERA and identified through public consultation and the ‘Cluster Village Plan’. Council is also contributing £123,000 to the new facility through their ongoing commitment to play provision.
Structural engineering consultancy firm Taylor & Boyd have been appointed to progress the park, which Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District, Cllr Brian Tierney, said will provide many benefits for the Sion Mills area.
“This is fantastic and welcome news for the people of Sion Mills and the surrounding communities.
“This play area will help to promote social interaction between children and young people, as well as ensuring they are taking part in enjoyable physical activity.
“Council are working hard to progress play provision across the district, and this is another example of the strides being made.
“I welcome the commencement of work on this site and look forward to seeing the completed project, which no doubt will be enjoyed by many.”
Mary Hunter, Chair of Derry and Strabane Rural Partnership (LAG), who administers the Rural Development funding in the region, added: “Derry and Strabane Rural Partnership are delighted to support the development of this inclusive, state-of-the-art, play facility.
“The funding will help to improve the quality of life for children within Sion Mills and provide access to quality rural play facilities. It’s a fantastic community-led project that was identified through our Cluster Village Plans and it’s exciting to see work progressing on it.”
Elaine Duffy, Parkside Residents Group, agreed that the park would be of great benefit.
“News that work has begun on this new play park is very welcome and it is something that will be used by children of all ages and abilities in the Sion Mills area.
“Having a safe space for local children to exercise and socialise with one another is an invaluable asset to any community, so we’re delighted that we will soon have a state-of-the-art play park for us all to enjoy.”