Belfast Telegraph

Friends of Alexandra Park mucking in

Local residents in north Belfast may have noticed in recent week’s that construction and physical improvement works have now commenced on site in Alexandra Park.

The iconic Victorian public park situated in north Belfast opened in 1881 and is the only public park in Western Europe with a wall dividing the park into two separate entities.

The initial works have been brought to fruition by the steering group which have secured funding two distinct funding streams. Funding was secured via the Alpha Programme and Reconciling Communities Through Regeneration (RCTR).

The funding secured will act as a catalyst to drive forward regeneration plans within the park. The groups consists of representatives from Newington, Parkside and Castleton Residents Association who have been working alongside representatives from Tigers Bay, Montcollyer, Camberwell Terrace, Alexandra Park Avenue and Dunmore estate over the past two years through the Alexandra Park cross community steering group.

The group secured £49,792 worth of funding through the Alpha Programme and the total cost of the finalised scheme is £99,762 of which the RCTR Programme will fund £50,000. RCTR is a three year, £988,000 EU-funded regional programme, funded through the PEACE III Programme, Priority 1.1.

Representatives from the group made an application to the Alpha Programme, which is managed by Groundwork NI and invites groups to apply for grants that will be allocated to those organisations that can demonstrate that they have the ideas to transform their local surroundings for the better.

Sylvia Gordon, Director of Groundwork NI said: “Groundwork NI has been working closely with the steering group over the past two years and with local residents and community groups from both sides of the communities surrounding Alexandra Park to move the regeneration plans forward.

“We are delighted to see physical works and improvements take place which will have a direct and positive impact on the daily lives of people who live within the area of the park, the funding will act as a catalyst for future developments.”

The funding which was successfully secured from the Alpha Programme by the parks steering group will go towards the following key elements to complete the parks regeneration: a nature trail path including hardcore and kerbing, interpretative wildlife and historical panels plus new fishing platforms. The new platforms will provide the opportunity for young people and general residents with a space to fish in the pond which currently does not exist. It will also provide an access route around the pond for easier access for recreational fishing.

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