Playparks to be refurbished

Joe Nelson. INLM0811-808con
Joe Nelson. INLM0811-808con

FIVE local playparks at Mourneview, Kilwilke, Wakehurst, Ardowen and Clonmeen are set for a makeover.

£490,000 worth of funding will be put into neighbourhood renewal areas in Lurgan, Craigavon and Portadown for the planning and project management of the scheme.

Ashgrove and Edgarstown in Portadown are the other two playparks set to benefit.

It’s understood the tenders for these playparks will be put out as soon as possible.

The playpark boost was announced at this week’s monthly meeting of council.

The SDLP’s Joe Nelson welcomed the announcement, but added that Aghagallon was long overdue a new playpark.

Speaking after the meeting Craigavon Mayor Carla Lockhart said: “I am delighted that seven of our playparks are going to be refurbished. This is owing to them being within or servicing the Neighbourhood Renewal Area and certainly I know that in many instances this refurbishment is long overdue.

“As stated at the council meeting I believe our children and young people deserve investment and what better way to enhance their quality of life and improve their play skills than to provide modern, up to date play areas.

“I personally have lobbied hard in terms of Mourneview and with the help of the Mourneview and Grey Estate Community Group this has been successful. I believe this will greatly enhance the area and will improve leisure provision and I know that residents will be delighted.”

She added: “However, whilst I welcome this investment I believe that our overall portfolio of play areas needs significant investment and I did, at council, call on the Leisure department to bring forward information on tackling and refurbishing other play areas in the borough especially in some of the more rural areas. This issue is to be discussed further in September.”

Sinn Fein Councillor Noel McGeown welcomed the decision by the three Neighbourhood Renewal partnerships within Craigavon to put £490,000 of funding into the refurbishment of seven playgrounds across the borough.

Councillor McGeown commented: “The proposal to apply to the Neighbourhood Renewal Partnerships in Lurgan, Brownlow and Portadown for funding to refurbish the children’s play areas was originally ratified by Council in October 2011. A Letter of Offer from the partnerships funding body, the Department of Social Development, has now been received and accepted by council.”

The councillor praised the partnership boards for the commitment they had shown to the area saying: “I would like to take this opportunity to express my appreciation to the Neighbourhood Renewal Partnerships for the work they have done and are doing within the most deprived areas of this borough.

“This latest scheme is just one example of the good work that they are responsible for.”