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Councillors welcome PEACE IV funding for St Columb’s Park regeneration

07 July 2017

Members of Derry City and Strabane District Council’s Environment and Regeneration Committee have welcomed plans for the regeneration of St Columb’s Park which were revealed for the first time this week.

A major element of the plans will be supported by a major funding investment of £373,000 secured through the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB), the Managing Authority for the PEACE IV/INTERREG VA Programme. This funding will be used on a council led project to ensure the completion of the regeneration of the historic walled garden which will be supported by a programme of peace building activity.

The ambitious wider plans will also include the replacement of the Charley Dimmock Garden with a formal Lavender Garden, and the transformation of the disused heli-pad into a community growing educational resource.

The wider project is listed as a priority capital project in the Strategic Growth Plan for the City and District.

Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Councillor Maolíosa McHugh, joined Members in endorsing the plans and said the work would enhance the visitor attraction and appeal of St Columb’s Park. “I am delighted to see such a major investment being made through SEUPB which will allow this project to move to the next stage and facilitate further peace and reconciliation work in this area.

“I want to also acknowledge the success of the ongoing work behind the scenes on the wider regeneration project being carried out by Council’s Parks Management & Development team, St Columb’s Park Trust and the Acorn Fund.

“I look forward now to seeing the delivery of the plans in time which will greatly enhance this beautiful parkland area and further improve the park’s historic, cultural and landscape amenity to the benefit of the entire community.”

The project elements will now progress to submission of planning applications over the summer months. 

Commentating on the funding award, Gina McIntyre, CEO of the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB) said:  “The PEACE Programme is a unique EU funding programme that exists nowhere else in Europe and we are delighted that it is providing support to the regeneration of St Columb’s Park. The creation of this shared space will connect the entire community in the area and compliment other peace funded projects and activity which will be implemented through the recently launched Derry City and Strabane District Council Peace Action Plan.”

Welcoming the news Helen Henderson, Director of Columb’s Park House said: “As the lungs of our city, St Columb’s Park is an important community resource and has huge potential to be a creative, shared space accessible to people from all walks of life for the common good. 

“As a Peace Centre located in the heart of the park, St Columb’s Park House welcomes these exciting developments and aims to connect more with our outdoor spaces to progress our mission ‘ To be the heart in the park helping to nurture peaceful, vibrant compassionate communities’.”

Shauna Kelpie, Programme Manager for the Acorn Fund, said the work would enhance the area as a popular shared community space and provide opportunities for people to engage with the natural environment in a new and fun way.