New Kilfennan play park build to start within months

Members of the local community at a protest for better play facilities in the Nelson Drive and Caw areas in 2013.
Members of the local community at a protest for better play facilities in the Nelson Drive and Caw areas in 2013.

DUP Alderman Drew Thompson says he hopes to see work commence on new play facilities in Kilfennan Valley Park within months now that the Office of First Minister and Deputy First Minister (OFMDFM) has released almost £3m in funding from the Social Investment Fund (SIF) towards the project.

“It’s very positive,” said Mr Thompson. “Now lets get on and get this done. I’d like to think work can start on this within the next few months.”

He added: “It’s now just a matter of the tender documents being finalised with the funding and planning approval both already in place.”

Mr Thompson said it’s something the community of Nelson Drive and Caw has been waiting on for a long time.

“We’ve been working on this for quite a while,” he said. “The old play provision there is not fit for purpose so this is very welcome.”

Linda Watson, Co-ordinator at Caw Nelson Drive Action Group, which has protested about the condition of play facilities in the area, echoed this.

She said: “It’s something that we’ve been trying to do something about for over ten years. The existing provision is totally unsuitable so this is good news.”

Noel McCartney, Chair of the local SIF Steering Group, announced on Tuesday (January 13) that Derry City Council had received a letter of offer from OFMDFM for £2,790,345 to provide four play facilities and associated works in the Outer North, Outer West, Triax and Waterside Neighbourhood Renewal areas of the city.

He stated: “The Steering Group would like to thank the First Minister, Peter Robinson, and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness, for this investment in the most deprived areas of the city.”

Mr McCartney also thanked Derry City Council for its contribution of £300,000 to the project which means a total investment of £3,090,355.

This is the second element of the local Action Plan following on from the £3.3 million for the Community Work Programme (CWP).

The Steering Group advised that the closing date for tendering to deliver the CWP is January 27 at 3pm.

The final element of the local SIF group’s Action Plan relates to pitches provision.

Mr McCartney thanked OFMDFM for this investment and for empowering local people to develop the Action Plan, on behalf of the Steering Group.