KIDS from Ebrington Primary School gathered at the recently completed £245k play park at Lapwing Way in Clooney to greet Deputy Mayor Gary Middleton and the Social Development Minister Nelson McCausland.
Sentinel readers first learned about the plans for the park nearly three years ago.
It was badly needed and has since proven a big hit with people living in the area.
Mr McCausland’s Department of Social Development provided £159,485 of the £245k total investment.
Speaking during his visit, he said: “The Lapwing Park at Clooney benefited from almost £250,000 worth of investment and is an impressive example of what can be achieved through regeneration. Green spaces are vital in our communities to encourage community cohesion and promote healthy lifestyles.
“I am also pleased that the Executive, through my Department, has committed an additional £370,000 for a number of other major projects throughout Londonderry.
“These projects are being delivered by the Department for Regional Development and work is at different stages across this package of projects with the upgrade of Bishop’s Street already complete. The work includes enhancing footpaths and lighting on a number of streets in Londonderry city centre.”
He added: “Lapwing Way’s regeneration has ensured that this outdoor space, which greatly enhances the physical appearance of the Clooney Estate as a whole, remains a safe, secure and sustainable environment for generations to come. This is an excellent example of partnership working together for local communities.
“Projects like this one are also instrumental in renewing civic pride in local communities which is one of the key underpinning advantages of the Neighbourhood Renewal programme.”
Deputy Mayor Alderman Gary Middleton said: “Regeneration of Lapwing Way was made possible through investment from Department for Social Development, Groundwork NI, Ulster Garden Villages and the Garfield Weston Foundation. This park will go a long way towards providing a much needed boost to the local Clooney community with a safe, secure and neutral environment for children to play and a vital space which can be utilised by the entire family.
“Derry City Council will continue to oversee the planning, designing and delivery of regenerated play spaces under their Parks Development Programme, and the success of the work of Clooney Residents Association at Lapwing Way will be a model for further projects, an excellent example of the benefit of the collaborative approach in which associations, funding and support agencies worked together for the benefit of the overall community.”
“Work has already begun, thanks to additional Department funding, on roads, pathways and lightening systems at a number of neighbourhoods within the Waterside and Triax districts and we are delighted with the allocation of this investment in improving residential areas.”