A new sheltered space with included seating has been officially unveiled at St Columb’s Park Walled Garden.
The new £50,000 facility is part of wider improvement works, including the creation of a new walled garden at St Columb’s Park House, which was designed in-house by the Council and built by Willie Doherty Construction Ltd. The Department for Communities contributed £27,000 towards the overall costs of the project through its Access and Inclusion programme.
The covered space will provide shelter for visitors to participate in activities and an opportunity to offer a range of new events and classes in the beautifully restored historic walled garden. The walled garden of the shared space was successfully restored by the Council in 2019, in collaboration with St Columb’s Park House and the Acorn Fund, with funding secured from the EU’s Peace IV Shared Space programme.
The Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Councilor Sandra Duffy, said the sheltered area would improve the provision of activities in the park. “I am delighted to see the opening of the Shelter, which is the final chapter in the wider development plans for St Columb’s Park.
“The park is a shared community space and green haven in the middle of the city, and this new facility will help support the delivery of a range of new cross-community activities.
“As part of our green infrastructure plans, the Council is focusing on providing green spaces in urban areas that are open and accessible to everyone. I would like to thank the Minister for her continued support for this project and the development of one of the most beautiful parks in the countryside.”
Minister Hargey said: “I am delighted that my ministry has been able to support this project through its access and inclusion programme, which aims to remove physical barriers to the engagement of people with disabilities in the arts, culture and active leisure.
“The shelter’s covered area and accessible seating will help improve the visitor experience and increase accessibility and inclusivity at St Columb’s Park Walled Garden.
“Facilities like these should meet the needs of the whole community, including people with disabilities, and I commend the Council for the improvements they have made to the park which will increase opportunities for passive recreation and will improve the physical and mental well-being of all individuals.”
St Columb’s Park House manager Sharon Doherty added: “We are delighted to see work on this new outdoor space in the walled garden complete.
Mayor of Derry and Strabane District Council, Councilor Sandra Duffy and Gregg Magee from the Department for Communities pictured at the opening of St Columb’s Park Shelter, a new outdoor education facility in the park’s walled garden with Sharon Doherty, general manager of St Columb’s Park House. Photo: Martin McKeown
“It adds a new dimension to the gardens, providing people of all abilities the opportunity to participate in many of the community programs offered here at St Columb’s Park House, as well as a community space that other groups and organizations can enjoy.
“After the pandemic, being able to be outdoors and in nature has become increasingly important to so many within our community and the addition of the new sheltered area provides the perfect backdrop.
“It certainly enhances our fantastic walled garden and is another great space for the community to enjoy, using our shared green space where everyone can be involved.”
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