Council welcomes progress on vital capital projects
28 July 2020
Substantial progress has been made on Derry City and Strabane District Council's portfolio of capital projects over the last four months, despite the government imposed Covid19 restrictions affecting the building industry.
The news was welcomed by Council members who received a detailed update report on the status of projects at a meeting of Full Council on Thursday evening.
Members were briefed on a range of Council services as work continues to restore normal services where possible in adherence to the latest safety guidelines set out by the NI Executive.
Following temporary suspension of a series of live contracts at the commencement of the Covid19 emergency, work has now recommenced on all these projects including the Shantallow and Top of the Hill Community Centres, the NW Greenway Network, Mourne Park playpark, the new Visit Derry building, the total value of which comes to approximately £7.5 million.
Following the government’s relaxation of Covid19 restrictions on construction work, Council has let a series of contracts including environmental improvement works at Bishop Street Carpark, a large scale upgrade of the facilities at Melvin Sports Arena including a new covered stand and changing facilities, new play parks at Sion Mills, Magheramason and Castlederg, and access improvement works at Strabane canal, Sion Mills, Claudy Country Park, Newbuildings and Castlederg.
The total value of these works comes to approximately £4.5 million.
Members also welcomed news of the successful completion of the much anticipated £2.3 million Top of the Hill Community Centre and heard about significant project milestones reached in the design of the €9 million Strabane/Lifford community shared space Riverine development, the Newgate Cultural Hub in the Fountain and Glenview Community Centre.
Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District, Councillor Brian Tierney, said he was delighted to see things moving in a positive direction: "These have been strange and unusual times for all of us.
"Council officers have been working hard behind the scenes while construction activity has been restricted during the pandemic to ensure these capital projects have been sitting ready to go as soon as regulations permitted.
"Much has been achieved during this time and I want to congratulate the Capital Development team for their proactive work during this crisis to ensure delays have been kept to a minimum. This work is vital to the improvement of local infrastructure and facilities and of course these projects contribute much needed money to the building industry impacting on the wider local economy. I'm delighted that conditions now permit the safe and successful delivery of capital works throughout our Council area and I look forward to seeing this positive momentum continue."
Director of Environment and Regeneration with Council, Karen Phillips, said Council remained committed to the swift delivery of all the capital works now underway: "Obviously there have been some unavoidable delays to projects but officers have been working to mitigate against the impacts of Covid-19 and to ensure contractors could get back on site at the earliest, safest opportunity.
"The team have also been doing all they can working behind closed doors to progress with letters of offer, secure necessary funding and recommence works.
“I am really pleased to see what has been achieved to date and we remain committed to the safe and speedy delivery of the exciting range of projects now in the pipeline."
At the meeting positive progress was also reported on a wide range of Council service areas and members were updated on the reopening of Tier 1 leisure facilities, registrars' services, Museums, Council Offices and recycling centres, as well as the preparations underway for the safe reopening of Council run community centres.