‘Until parks in place everywhere no area should have two’

Paul Hughes.
Paul Hughes.

A Strathfoyle community worker feels the area has been snubbed in the first round of allocations from the OFMDFM ‘poverty pot’ - the Social Investment Fund (SIF) - with £1.75m awarded to Westbank areas for improved play provision.

Paul Hughes, who is running as an independent in the forthcoming local elections, says people in Strathfoyle have been campaigning for fixed play provision for 15 years.

“I believe strongly that until every single community in Derry has at least one play facility, then nowhere in Derry should have two facilities,” said Mr Hughes.

Mr Hughes felt that given the rejection of the £1.2m Strathfoyle greenway cycle path for funding under the SIF, he had hoped a play park might have been on the agenda.

He said: “This isnt rocket science, its about basic human rights and parity of esteem for rural communities.”

Despite the apparent blow, £47m has yet to be allocated from SIF. It’s expected a further £5m or so will be invested in Londonderry and another £5m invested in the Western Zone.

Strathfoyle - like all areas in the city - is set to benefit from a £3.3m allocation to a Londonderry wide revenue project to improve employment “providing long term placements targeted upon those on the margins but especially the young (under 25) long term unemployed.”