Belfast Telegraph

Kid’s play area set for return

by Chris McCann

A north Belfast community stripped of a popular children’s play facility due to relentless vandalism, is on the brink of seeing its return.

The ‘Pitch And Mitch’ parkland was a popular meeting point for children on the Ardoyne Road — but was forced to close after vandals continually targeted it.

The facility — which boasted a play park and a football pitch — was emptied by Belfast City Council a number of years ago and has been disused ever since.

But determined residents have put one over on the vandals as the facility is set to be reinstated — and possibly be bigger and better than ever.

Local Sinn Fein councillor Gerard McCabe, who has been campaigning to get leisure facilities across north Belfast, said he held a “positive” meeting with the council’s parks and leisure department last week, which aimed to rubber stamp the |reopening.

“The discussions were very |positive and I am hopeful that something positive will come from it,” he said.

“People in this area need this facility. At the minute the children have nowhere to play at all.

“This facility will make life better for kids in this area and people who have lobbied me about this want it back yesterday, and rightly so.” A public meeting will be held in the Ardoyne Community Centre on Thursday night (August 12) when residents can submit their own ideas to Cllr McCabe on how best to use the park this time round.

“I’d like to see the council come back to us with a number of different proposals,” said the councillor.

“I’d like to see a mini-football area and a play area, better than what we had before.”

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