‘The current park has been in existence for up to fifty years with little or no redevelopment’

Lynn Donnell, Administrator, Irish Street Community Centre and Claire Russell, Centre Manager.
Lynn Donnell, Administrator, Irish Street Community Centre and Claire Russell, Centre Manager.

The manager of Irish Street Community Centre says a £285,000 cash injection enabling the complete refurbishment of the local play park by next Spring will make a huge difference to the lives of young people and their parents.

Claire Russell, Centre Manager with the Irish Street Community Centre, said: “I am delighted with the news that Derry City and Strabane District Council (DCSDC) have secured funding from the Department for Social Development’s (DSD) Capital funds to refurbish the play parks in both Irish Street and Top of the Hill.

“This will totally transform the current park in Irish Street, which has been in existence for up to fifty years, with little or no redevelopment during this time.

“But more importantly, it will provide our children and young people with a new, up-to-date, safe and welcoming environment for them to play. There is no doubt that this investment will help to improve the physical health and mental well-being of families in the Irish Street area and beyond.

“This is an example of a bottom up community development approach, working at its best, and it would not be possible without our statutory partners; DSD, DCSDC and Waterside Neighbourhood Partnership, and I would like to thank them very much for their much needed investment and continued support.”

The Department for Social Development has newly approved £570,000 towards the development of two play parks in the Waterside.

DSD has issued contracts for play parks at Irish Street and Rose Court, to the value of £285,000 each.

Geraldine O Donnell, Strategic Development Manager with Hillcrest Trust said: “I welcome today’s announcement that we have secured funding from the Department for Social Development for play parks in both Top of the Hill and Irish Street.

“These play parks, will not only improve the physical image of these areas but will provide safe, fun and stimulating environments which will hugely benefit local children in many ways by improving young people’s health and wellbeing as well as their development and learning.”

She added: “This successful funding bid is an example of statutory agencies and community organisations working collaboratively to deliver projects that will make a real and lasting difference to the lives of many.”

The projects were funded through the Department for Social Development and £60,000 from Derry City and Strabane District Council’s Parks Development programme, in partnership with local community associations Hillcrest Trust, the Waterside Neighbourhood Partnership and Irish Street Community Association, and are expected to be completed by March 2016.