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Official opening of Mourne play-park takes place

17 February 2022
The Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Alderman Graham Warke, was joined in Newtownstewart by DAERA Minister Edwin Poots, for the official opening of a new play park in the village.
The park is a £347,000 project which is located at a site adjacent to Mourne Park and Mourne Walk, and has been delivered by Derry City and Strabane District Council with support from funding allocated by Derry and Strabane Rural Partnership under Priority 6 (LEADER) of the Northern Ireland Rural Development Programme 2014-2020.​
Newtownstewart was identified by the Derry and Strabane Rural Partnership as a strategic Village Renewal Project, with £222k in grant funding set aside for the new play park. The funding was part of the Rural Development Programme funded by DAERA and identified through a public consultation and the 'Cluster Village Plan.' Council also contributed £125k to the new facilities through its Play Development Programme.
The new park caters for children and young people of different ages and abilities. Equipment includes a multi-unit with towers, climbing nets and slides, a wheelchair accessible ground-flush roundabout, swings with adapted inclusive swing seats, toddler swings, basket swings, ziplines and more.
Mayor Graham Warke said: "It's a great honour and pleasure for me to officially open this new play park in Newtownstewart. I want to give credit to everyone involved in delivering this facility, particularly during the Covid-19 pandemic, and I am so pleased to now be able to join colleagues, community representatives and local young people in opening this wonderful park.
"The features of this park are in line with Council's Green Infrastructure Plan, which focuses on utilising natural spaces to provide environmental, economic and social benefits for communities.
"It is a fantastic place for the children of the village to come together and socialise with one another while also getting some physical activity, and it is also a great meeting spot for the adults as well. I hope the community continue to enjoy this park for many years to come."
Speaking at the opening of the Play Park in Newtownstewart, Rural Affairs Minister, Edwin Poots MLA said, "I am pleased that the Northern Ireland Rural Development 'LEADER' Programme, through the Village Renewal Scheme is making a real change to the fabric of rural villages and is supporting projects that are based on community need."
Minister Poots continued "I am delighted that this project will create a sense of civic pride in the village, provide tangible benefits for users and will help this rural area reach its full potential.   I want to thank all those involved for all their hard work and dedication in bringing the project forward."
Noelle Donnell, Chair of the Derry and Strabane Rural Partnership, said: "The LAG are really pleased to have supported this project which is a fantastic asset for the village of Newtownstewart and for its residents, particularly the local children who will get great enjoyment out of this facility."
Amanda McConomy, community representative, added: "As a village we are truly over the moon with the fantastic play park which we have here in Newtownstewart. It is a central base for everyone and we are so grateful to all the partners who have helped delivered this."