Kilfennan play park open for business!
The Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Councillor, John Boyle, officially opened the new ‘Invest in Play’ play park in Kilfennan on 24 July. He even tested out the facilities for himself.
The eagerly awaited development was jointly funded by the Social Investment Fund (SIF) under the Northern Ireland Executive’s Delivering Social Change framework and the Council, through its Parks Development Programme.
The new Kilfennan play facility was delivered as part of the SIF Invest in Play project along with three other sites in Ballymagroarty, Ballyarnett and Brandywell.
All four parks are now complete with Ballyarnott and Brandywell having been in use since September 2017 and March 2018 respectively. They are both already demonstrating excellent usage with an average of 2,000 users per week. It is expected that the Kilfennan and Ballymagroarty facilities will achieve the same success.
These facilities have provided local residents close access to modern facilities for young people and their families to come together and play safely whilst playing a key role in promoting their social interaction and physical activity.
The Invest in Play project received funding in the region of £3 million from the Social Investment Fund, which will bring a total of £9.5 million of investment to the most deprived areas of Derry/Londonderry.
Opening of refurbished family room at Taughmonagh Sure Start premises
The refurbished Family room in Taughmonagh Sure Start was opened by Stephen Courtney from The Social Investment Fund (SIF) on 24 August 2018.
Around £43,500 of funding was provided by SIF under the Northern Ireland Executive’s Delivering Social Change framework. This was used to refurbish the family room, the modernisation of the heating and electrical systems and improved the accessibility for disabled users.
The provision of a room for dedicated use as a parent’s room/classroom allows parents to undertake activities in the same location as their children.
Speaking at the opening Stephen Courtney added: "It was great to get a tour of the completed facilities and see how SIF funding has helped to improve the Sure Start services for local families and children. I wish them every success for the future."
St Comgalls Market Launch
Mark Browne and members of the SIF team participated in a Market launch for St Comgalls, hosted by Gerry McConville from Falls Community Council, on Wednesday 19 September.
The launch was to attract potential tenants for the new hub and to inform the local residents of the plans for the building. The Lord Mayor of Belfast, Deirdre Hargey also spoke at the event.
SIF funding of £3.5 million is being invested in the St Comgalls project which is a joint BCC/SIF initiative delivered on behalf of Falls Community Council. The project is designed to promote economic, educational, social and cultural benefits for the people who live and work in the local area and to promote good relations between communities through the provision of a multi-use community hub.
The building is a Grade B1 listed and the restoration will bring it back to its former glory.
The building will include offices, function room/conference facilities, opening out onto a restored central courtyard with a glass pyramid roof, café with bookshop and exhibition/research space. It will also have a childcare day facility, retail training facility and a community arts office.
Gerry McConville said: “Due to its location and the modern facilities, St Comgall’s has to offer, we see this as an excellent opportunity for businesses to locate and we would encourage anyone looking for office or business premises to come and have a look at what is on offer.”
The Lord Mayor Deirdre Hargey added: “This is a really exciting project and I’m delighted that Council is contributing £3.5 million to the redevelopment – the largest amount to be awarded via our Belfast Investment Fund to date. When complete, this facility will be an important economic driver for the west of the city and will also be an important driver for tourism.”
Commenting on the project Mark Browne from TEO said: “St Comgall’s is a great example of central and local government working together with communities to deliver a shared vision with real benefits for local people.”