Belfast Telegraph

£1.45m boost sees Derry's Brooke Park revamp get green light

By Brendan McDaid

The long-awaited transformation of Brooke Park in Londonderry is to get under way next year following a £1.45m funding boost.

The regeneration project — which will cost a total of £5m — has now been given the green light following confirmation of grant aid from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Derry City Council, which is leading the project, said the Victorian park will be completely transformed, with landscaped grounds, and upgraded sport and leisure facilities.

New features unveiled yesterday include the creation of a state-of-the-art play garden as well as the restoration of historic features such as the Robert Ferguson statue.

As part of the plans, the gate lodge will be opened to the public and used as a venue to tell the story of the park.

It is also proposed that the oval pond, which was concreted over several years ago, will be restored.

A raft of new facilities will include a specially designed family friendly area at Gwyn’s Pavilion.

The park’s sports facilities will also benefit, with the provision of a two storey sports centre.

Welcoming the news, Derry mayor Kevin Campbell said the award will make a positive difference.

The project, he said, “will leave a lasting legacy for the people of the city for future generations to come”.

Head of Heritage Lottery Fund Northern Ireland, Paul Mullan, said: “The works not only carry huge social benefits, but will also preserve the park’s rich history and listed structures that date back as far as 1840.”

Quotes

“The regeneration proposals are extensive and will transform this important green space in keeping with the historical character of the park — including the restoration of some old features and the creation of some state of the art facilities.”

John Kelpie, strategic director with Derry City Council, on the significance of the scale of Brooke Park’s redevelopment project.

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