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Mayor officially opens Jack and Jill Community Playgroup’s new centre

08 November 2018

Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Councillor John Boyle, has officially opened the new Jack and Jill Community Playgroup Centre in Plumbridge this morning. 

The opening event brings to an end a long and eager wait for the playgroup to get access to their new premises. 

Jack and Jill Community Playgroup’s former premises were destroyed by the unprecedented flooding that hit the North West in August 2017, with the group losing a substantial amount of paperwork and equipment that resulted in them relocating to temporary premises in Glenelly House for the past year.

Mayor Boyle said he was delighted that families in the area can now avail of purposeful play for youngsters.

“It is an honour for me to open this much needed facility for the Plumbridge area,” he said

“I am delighted that the Jack and Jill Community Playgroup can now return to providing their full service of purposeful play after last year’s devastating floods destroyed their premises

“We were delighted to have representatives from the various funders present this morning, Derry and Strabane Rural Partnership (the LAG) and Big Lottery and wish to acknowledge the level of support provided by them to bring this wonderful project to fruition.

“There has been a lot of collaborative work between the community and statutory agencies to secure the funding to build this facility and I would like to congratulate them for bringing it to fruition and acknowledge the funding from Council, Village Renewal, DAERA and the Big Lottery Fund.”
Willie Lamrock, Chair of Derry and Strabane Rural Partnership added: “This is the first capital project in the Council area to be funded under the Village Renewal scheme.
“We are therefore delighted that the project has both revitalised a vacant site in Plumbridge and provided a much needed new space for the Jack and Jill Playgroup who have been delivering vital services to the community for over 30 years.
“It is a positive outcome following the devastation of the flooding in August 2017 and crucial to sustaining this vibrant rural community”

Jack and Jill Community Playgroup provide purposeful play for 3-5 year olds through a broad based curriculum, taking into account all aspects of child development and considering the needs of individual children.

The community playgroup strives to provide a quality learning environment with safe, secure and supportive surroundings.

Derry City and Strabane District Council submitted an application to the Village Renewal Scheme under the NI Rural Development Programme which is delivered in the Council area by the Derry & Strabane Rural Partnership. The application was for a new facility for the playgroup located on a derelict and unused Council site in Plumbridge.   

Council were successful in securing the £35,000 Village Renewal grant with the rest of the match funding being provided for a range of elements from Council, Big Lottery £10,000 and the Jack and Jill Community Playgroup, with an overall project cost of just under £60,000.

This project was part funded under Priority 6 (LEADER) of the Northern Ireland Rural Development Programme 2014-2020 by the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs and the European Union.

In terms of proximity to services Plumbridge ranks first as the most deprived Super Output Area in Northern Ireland with very limited facilities and transport provision. 

This project secured the Village Renewal funding to address the access to services need.  Investment in this new centre reinforces Council’s overall capital investment plan committed to in the ‘Inclusive Strategic Growth Plan’ to design and deliver a programme of improved community centres and facilities.

The location of the playgroup close to a MUGA will provide a new opportunity for the playgroup to expand on its outdoor play offering for the children.

The villages of Plumbridge and Cranagh came together to support the playgroup with a view to sustaining the service it is providing within the Plumbridge and surrounding area.

The NI Rural Development Programme 2014-2020 is funded by the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) and the European Union.