1 September 2017
A partnership between the Department of Communities, Radius Housing, Sliabh Dubh residents and Belfast City Council has succeeded in delivering a new play and recreation space that has transformed a piece of previously underused green space into an invaluable community asset which will be enjoyed by the 500+ residents.
The development of a new play and recreation space at the heart of the Sliabh Dubh estate provides a much needed safe community space which lends itself to a multitude of uses to include children’s play workshops, football tournaments, adult health and well-being classes and community festival events.
It took nine years in challenging circumstance to deliver the new play area on the ground with the £110,000 construction costs being funded by the Department of Communities. Radius Housing looked after procurement, design and construction and Belfast City Council has agreed to take over the long term management and maintenance of the play area.
At today’s (Friday, 1 September) official opening of the play area Maggie Smith, Director of the Community Empowerment Division of the Department for Communities said: “This development is a credit to the local community, to Sliabh Dubh Residents’ Association, local Councillors and Radius Housing, not least because of the way in which they kept working on how to deliver this facility which will be of such value to residents of all ages.”
Radius Housing Chairperson Diana Fitzsimons said: “This project epitomises the value of partnership working and I hope that all of the associated partners can continue to work in the spirit of collaboration as we strive to build more new neighbourhoods across West Belfast and beyond whilst continuing to work with local residents and groups to ensure everyone feels part of, and is able to contribute to the local community.”
Local Councillor, Steven Corr, a member of the council’s People and Communities Committee, said: “I am delighted that the hard work of everyone involved has finally succeeded in creating this play and recreation area that will be a community asset for years to come.
He added, “The contribution of the local residents have been immense, against the odds they continued to fight to ensure recreation space is available for everyone to enjoy. They and the Housing Association which supported them throughout are to be congratulated today. Thanks as well to the Department for its financial support and the council for taking on the management of the park area.”
The play and recreation space which provides bitmac and wet pour playing surfaces, fixed football posts, basketball nets and an exclusive junior play space
Pictured above: Young tenant, Grace Boyle, officially opens the new play and recreation space at Sliabh Dubh, with Maggie Smith, Head of Community Empowerpment, Department for Communities, Dian Fitzsimons, Chair, Radius Housing and Councillor Stevie Corr, Member of City and Neighbourhood Services Committee, Belfast City Council