The official opening of a play park at Riverside Leitrim has been welcomed.
The facility has been funded with £100k from the Rural Development Programme and was delivered by Down Rural Area Partnership.
The cost of the project including professional fees was approximately £160,000 and Banbridge District Council provided the additional investment to complete the project.
Last Friday March 20, Councillor Paul Gribben, Vice Chairman of Banbridge District Council together with Seamus Doyle, Vice Chairman of the Council’s Leisure and Development Committee officially opened the play park.
Mr Gribben thanked the Rural Development Programme for providing the funding which made the scheme possible, the Northern Ireland Housing Executive for leasing the land to the council, and council officers, Scheme Designer’s Ground Work NI and Contracts MP Coleman Ltd for their work to deliver the project and expressed his satisfaction that the play park he had long campaigned for was in place for all children to enjoy.
Mr Gribben noted that play was fundamental to the development of children and this was reflected in the Council’s play strategy. He commented that there had been many hurdles to overcome in coming to this point and that the Review of Public Administration had overtaken the project which from April will come under the new amalgamated Newry and Mourne and Down District Council.
Attending the launch were Chris Hazzard MLA, Mr Vince McKevitt, Axis-3 Contract Manager, Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD), Mr David Kerr, Vice Chair, Down Rural Area Partnership Local Action Group, staff, parents and children from the Leitrim Community Play Group and Conrad McAleer of MP Coleman Ltd, the contractor for the scheme and council officers.
The scheme was designed in consultation with the local community to provide an exciting place to play and learn for the children and young people of Leitrim and the surrounding area which reflected the latest thinking in outdoor natural play provision.
It comprises a fenced site with a parking area, colourful toddler area and an area for older children including a youth meeting point, and challenging exercise and fun equipment such as a type of aerial skateboard known as an ‘Aeroskate’, a Turnfly and a jungle climber in a landscaped setting using natural materials such as wood, rock, rope, play bark and sand blending with the local environment.