THE official opening of the new Playground in Raphoe took place on Saturday, April 19, following a total funding package of €155,000 which was funded through Leader, Donegal County Council and the local community.
Donegal Local Development Company through the Leader Programme contributed funding of €127,350 with Donegal County Council providing €10,000 in funding as well as donating the site to the local community.
Speaking at the opening, John Starrett, Vice Chairman of Donegal Local Development Company Ltd. said the Board were delighted to be associated with the project and to be in a position to provide LEADER funding under the Village & Countryside Renewal & Development measure.
“It is certainly a very impressive playground having been developed from waste ground to the marvellous facility that we see here today.
“It will also have a very positive environmental impact due to its design and location close to the town centre and will be of great social benefit to the local community”.
He also noted that the survey that was carried out by the Playground Committee showed quite clearly the need for the project.
He also thanked Donegal County Council for their generously in granting the local committee a lease for the site and for their co-funding for the project. Overall, in Donegal, the Board were delighted to have delivered a total investment of €12.7 million in Rural Communities since 2009 which in turn has led to an overall investment of over €20M.
John McLaughlin, Donegal County Council, paid tribute to all concerned with the project and in particular the local committee. He said he was also delighted with the finished project and with the input from all sectors.
Jean Laird, Chairperson of the Raphoe Community Playground, said today sees years of hard work and planning come to fruition with the official opening by Raphoe man Cllr Frank McBrearty of the Raphoe Playground.
“Our Committee has been working tirelessly over the past few years to see their dream of establishing a much needed children’s playground in Raphoe and have enjoyed the support of the whole community and local businesses.”
The children’s playground, costing €155,000, has been funded largely through a grant from Donegal Local Development Company (DLDC) via the Leader programme, with the remainder coming from funding from Donegal County Council, local contributions and fundraising as well as bridging finance supplied by UCIT.
The contract for construction of the playground was awarded to Hawthorn Heights Ltd after an open tender process, and was supervised by McCullagh Architecture & Surveying.
The site was leased from Donegal County Council. Ms Laird also thanked all the businesses, local community and voluntary groups and families who have also contributed or otherwise helped raise funds.
The opening of the children’s playground was an opportunity for everyone in the area to celebrate the completion of the project and enjoy the many fun, colourful pieces of play equipment including the Storymakers Castle & Steam Train in keeping with the local tourist attractions.
“We are also delighted to be the new neighbours of Raphoe Boxing Club and thanks to them and Peter O’Donnell for providing their assistance and facilities for the opening. A great time was had by all and families in the area are encouraged to enjoy this play park for many years to come,” she said.
See tomorrow’s Donegal News on Monday for full pictorial coverage.
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