New play park part of £3.1m investment

The Mayor Councillor Brenda Stevenson.
The Mayor Councillor Brenda Stevenson.

Plans for new play facilities across Londonderry including Kilfennan Play Park, were officially launched in the city this morning by Junior Ministers from the Office of the First and Deputy First Ministers.

Ministers Jonathan Bell and Jennifer McCann were in town to formally announce the Social Investment Fund’s Steering Group’s ‘Invest in Play’ project today, Wednesday.

The Mayor Councillor Brenda Stevenson.

The Mayor Councillor Brenda Stevenson.

The project plans four new play facilities to be located at Kilfennan Valley Park, Ballymagroarty Play Park, Ballyarnett Country Park and Daisyfield, which will be funded with £2.8million from the Executive’s Social Investment Fund and £300,000 from Derry City Council.

Speaking at the site of the proposed play facility at Kilfennan, Junior Minister Jonathan Bell said: “These new play parks are an exciting local community led initiative and represents a major investment of £3.1 million across both communities within Londonderry.

“Through initiatives such as this, the Social Investment Fund is being used in areas of most need to invest in projects that will make a real and tangible difference for the better.”

Junior Minister Jennifer McCann said: “Play is an essential part of a child’s life; it’s vital for their social, emotional, physical and cognitive growth.

“These four new play facilities across the city will provide safe, fun and stimulating environments which will hugely benefit local children in many ways.”

The four play facilities are on land owned by Derry City Council which will be responsible for upkeep and maintenance.

Mayor Brenda Stevenson said as part of Council’s Parks Development Programme the investment was significant and a major boost to the communities, which will benefit greatly from new play provision.

“This is another example of government agencies and community organisations working collectively to successfully deliver projects that will make a real and lasting difference to the lives of many,” she said.

“These new facilities will help promote social interaction and physical activity for children and young people across the city and region.”