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Work to commence on four Village Renewal Projects

22 July 2020

Work is set to begin on Village Renewal Projects in Ardstraw, Artigarvan, Drumahoe and Donemana.

The combined cost of the work is £200,000 and it is being 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.

Haffey Sports Grounds are the appointed contractor for the work, with structural engineering consultancy firm Taylor and Boyd overseeing the progress.

Each of the four projects will provide improved recreation and leisure facilities which will promote social, physical and environmental wellbeing for all and, in particular, the children and young people from each community.

The projects are in line with Council's Green Infrastructure Plan, which focuses on utilising natural spaces to provide environmental, economic and social benefits for communities.

Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council Brian Tierney welcomed the news.

"This is an exciting development and I'm delighted that four different areas of our district will benefit as a result of this work.

"The Cluster Village Plans showed that across the four villages involved, at least 73% of people rated facilities as average or below. They also expressed concern over key issues such as a lack of sports, recreation and play facilities for children and young people.

"Through this proposal, Council aims to address these main concerns through improvements to existing facilities that will benefit each community in the long-term."

Mary Hunter, Chair of Derry and Strabane Rural Partnership (LAG), commended the work of all involved to bring these four projects to life: "The LAG are delighted to be able to support these villages and their communities. The projects all aim to improve the quality of life of those living within rural areas and it is welcome to see Council, the community and ourselves working together to support and implement much needed assistance to Ardstraw, Artigarvan, Drumahoe and Donemana."

In Artigarvan and Ardstraw there will be upgrades to play areas, with new equipment for each including a wheelchair accessible ground flush roundabout, basket swing and zip line, as well as landscaping improvements.

Artigarvan community representative John McCarter, Chairperson of Leckpatrick Development Association, said the new equipment will be especially beneficial to the young people in the area.

"The improvements planned will have a hugely positive effect on all in Artigarvan, but, in particular, it will provide a space for our young people to enjoy physical activity and socialise with others."

Ardstraw Community Association representative Sharon Moore added: "Everyone in the Ardstraw area is already looking forward to the completion of these works which have been warmly welcomed across the area."

As part of the Village Renewal Project in Drumahoe, there will be an improved access pathway, adult exercise equipment, landscaping and signage.

Andrew Russell, Drumahoe Community Association member, said: "We are very much looking forward to having an area that is attractive and accessible to all, and which will improve both the physical and mental health of those within our community."

In Donemana, an outdoor recreation space will be put in place for the Drummond Centre Youth Group.

Margaret McLaughlin, Drummond Centre Project Chairperson, said: "We want this area to be a hub and a meeting point for our young people in Donemana, and through the Village Renewal Project we will see much-valued improvements to the current space."