A group of local parents who have been campaigning for improved park facilities in Dromore have voiced their delight that funding has been secured.
They warmly welcomed the news that ABC Council has earmarked £250,000 for improving Dromore Park, for the 2017/18 financial year.
The money will go towards regenerating the entire Dromore Park, this includes improving the toilets, paths and new play facilities.
Last September the Leader reported how a rally was held in the town and a petition was launched demanding the play-park facilities be improved.
The rally was organised by Dromore resident Zoe Sparks who along with other parents met with councillors Paul Rankin, Mark Baxter and Hazel Gamble last week.
Zoe said: “We are over the moon this has been a long process. This funding will not just secure a new play park but it will go towards regenerating the whole park, which is good news and it has got so run down. It’s brilliant, it’s been a lot of hard work, not just me there has been so much hard work by lots of us in Dromore.
“This is a very important thing for Dromore, hopefully this new park will bring people to Dromore and could lead to other good things for the town, perhaps improvements to shops and other facilities.
“It means families now won’t have to travel to Banbridge or Lisburn to enjoy a good park.”
DUP Group Leader Mark Baxter said: “We are absolutely delighted that Council has agreed such a massive spend, the play facilities have not been fit for purpose for many years and at the end of last year parents took action and created a very vocal and pro active lobby group. All credit must go to them for starting the ball rolling to help council get to this stage. It really does prove that people power works.
“Jeffrey Donaldson MP, facilitated a meeting with the action group and local councillors at the end of last year and council officers have listened and ultimately will deliver this project this financial year.
“Along with colleagues Hazel Gamble and Paul Rankin we have had a series of meetings not only with local residents but with council directors to articulate the need in Dromore. There is a feeling in Dromore that they have been the “poor cousins” of Banbridge for some time and hopefully this announcement will go some way to redress this perception.
“The DUP will continue to fight for improved facilities for Dromore and will continue to liaise with local ratepayers to realise some of the aspirations they have for this growing town.
“This is a huge good news story and we are hopeful that some parking and a new toilet block will follow soon. We are absolutely delighted to have played our part in this delivery.”