New Play Park Facilities For Hilltown and Kilclief Villages
Mourne, Gullion and Lecale (MGL) Rural Development Partnership awarded funding of £150,000 from the Village Renewal Scheme of the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs’ (DAERA) Northern Ireland Rural Development Programme (NIRDP) 2014-2020, to Newry, Mourne and Down District Council for the development of two play parks in the villages of Hilltown and Kilclief.
Extensive stakeholder consultation identified the need for new play provisions within these villages, to afford the children and young people equal opportunities to play. Both local communities and importantly the children and young people of these areas, assisted to inform the play parks’ design, with features which would ultimately have a positive impact on their overall health and wellbeing.
Kilclief village, which previously had no play provision, now boasts a new play park on a site adjacent to Kilclief GAC. Children and young people of all abilities throughout the wider community are now availing of a range of interactive and challenging play equipment.
Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Chairperson, Councillor Laura Devlin said, “These projects are an excellent example of collaborative working between the funding bodies - MGL Rural Development Partnership, DAERA and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development, together with the Council and our local stakeholders; coming together to bring vital services to our rural communities providing equal opportunities and shared access”.
The village of Hilltown welcomed a significant redevelopment of its existing play park located in Spelga Park, in March 2020. The all-encompassing play park offers play opportunities for all abilities with fun and engaging features.
Councillor Roisin Mulgrew, Chairperson of MGL Rural Development Partnership said, “The two play parks are fantastic additions to both communities and their wider localities. It is wonderful to see the design visions of the children and young people become reality, along with the pride and ownership they are taking in the new facilities. Projects such as these are the epitome of rural development, empowering our communities to make decisions which will positively impact their lives”.