£1million Package For Local Rural Playparks

Children set to Benefit from £1 Million Funding for Upgrade of Rural Play Parks.

Children and Young people across the Newry Mourne and Down are set to benefit from a £1 million funding package aimed at developing and upgrading 16 rural play parks co-funded by Newry Mourne and Down District Council and the Mourne, Gullion and Lecale Rural Development Programme.

Newry Mourne and Down District Council Chairman, Councillor Mark Murnin and Mourne, Gullion and Lecale Rural Development Partnership Chairperson, Councillor Roisin Mulgrew welcomed the announcement, which was launched at the state of the art Slieve Gullion Play Park.

Council Chair Mark Murnin said: “The Play Parks programme will benefit from the maximum grant level available of £500,000 from Priority 6 of the Rural Development Fund, matched by £500,000 from the Council’s Active and Healthy Communities budget. The cash injection is a direct result of a strategic approach developed from the Council’s Play Strategy in conjunction with the recently developed Village Plans for the district, which were also funded through the Rural Development Programme.”

Councillor Mulgrew added: “This strategic partnership approach was shaped by extensive consultation with our local communities. I am delighted to see projects which were identified by local people through the Village Plans working their way through to fruition especially those which will contribute positively to the health and wellbeing of our children and young people.”

Councillors Roisin Mulgrew and Mark Murnin (Chairman of Newry Mourne and Down District Council with Jerome Burns of DAERA. 

Jerome Burns, of the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) said: “I am particularly impressed by the scale and impact of this project which will develop 16 rural play parks across the district. The benefits of play highlighted in the proposal, including the positive impact on the development and wellbeing of the children and young people in these rural areas as well as the positive impacts on community cohesion, makes the project a winner.

“DAERA and European Union funding through the Rural Development Programme continues to make a positive impact across our rural communities and we are happy to be involved in such a well-planned and high impact project.”

 Mourne, Gullion and Lecale Rural Development Partnership, one of ten Local Action Groups delivering the Rural Development Programme 2014 – 2020 across Northern Ireland, has been allocated a budget of approximately £11.18 million from the Rural Development Programmes overall budget of £70 million to support rural communities in Newry, Mourne and Down.

The Mourne, Gullion and Lecale Rural Development Partnership delivers key schemes which together will lead to the investment of up to £11.18 million of grant aid in the Newry, Mourne and Down District Council area:

*  Rural Business Investment to support the creation and development of micro and small enterprises (including farm diversification and private tourism businesses) in rural areas.

*  Rural Basic Services, to support capital investments which will provide access to basic services or improvements in social infrastructure (including activities to reduce isolation and/or poverty) to improve the welfare and access to basic services of those living in rural areas.

*  Village Renewal, which will provide financial support primarily for the drafting of integrated village plans and also for the renewal of rural villages through village plans.

For more information on the support available or to discuss a potential project contact a member of the Rural Development Team at Newry, Mourne and Down District Council on 0300 013 2233 or visit the website at: