£172,000 Playpark Approved for Ballymote Area in Downpatrick
CHILDREN and families in the Ballymote area of Downpatrick will be delighted at the news that a state-of-the-art playpark has been approved for their area. Work began today (Monday 3 June) in fencing off the work site adjacent to the Ballymote Sports and Wellbeing Centre.
A spokesperson for the Department for Social Development (DSD) said: “The Ballymote playground project is a partnership between DSD’s Neighbourhood Renewal programme and Down District Council, to replace a playground which had existed adjacent to St Colmcille’s Primary School and was removed to facilitate the construction of the Ballymote Sports and Wellbeing Centre.
“The total cost of the project is £172,500 with DSD providing £157,500 from the Neighbourhood Renewal Investment Fund and the remainder coming from Down District Council. The new playground is scheduled to open in the Autumn.”
Downpatrick Councillor Liam Johnston said: “This is great news for Downpatrick. The space for the old playpark was absorbed into Ballymote Sports and Wellbeing Centre when plans were drawn up a couple of years ago to allow for this. However, a funding shortfall with DSD meant that the playpark could not be completed at the time the new centre was built and now the Neighbourhood Renewal Partnership has finally secured this.
“The DSD has provided all the funding for the new playpark and Down District Council will be responsible for maintaining it after it is built. It will be part of the Ballymote Sports and Wellbeing Centre, and will be fenced in a secure area and will be closed at a certain time in the evening so that all children will be safe and secure as it is close to the main road.”
Gabriel Trueman, Chairman of the Neighbourhood Renewal Partnership, said: “I am delighted that the DSD has finally delivered on the funding package to bring this much needed project forward. It is a major step in trying to regenerate the area and will make a valuable contribution to local health and wellbeing.
“Over the years the Partnership has addressed the deprivation within the Flying Horse estate areas and we have made some significant progress. But the current economic downturn has made circumstances difficult again for many families and individuals living on our estates. Hardship is once again on the increase and we are trying to address that with a wide range of programmes.
“We work well with the DSD and all statutory agencies and the playpark project is an example of what can be achieved if we all work together as a community,” added Mr Trueman. “We are all looking forward to the opening of the playpark in September.”