Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council Health and Recreation Department

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16 Apr

Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council will start work this month on implementing a new play strategy that will see some 44 play parks across the borough upgraded at an estimated cost of £4.75m over the next five years.

Delivered as part of a multi-phase rolling refurbishment programme, the council has allocated the first tranche of funding (£450,000) to significantly enhance play provision at six urban and rural locations: Dollingstown, Poyntzpass P.S., Kinnego Marina, Killicomaine Community Centre (Portadown), Drumilly Green (Portadown) and Brownstown Park (Portadown).

This initial outlay is significant in that it marks the launch of ambitious plans by the council to provide children and young people in all parts of the borough with high quality, fully inclusive, safe and accessible play facilities.

Last year, the council undertook a strategic review to assess the condition of play equipment at all 95 play parks in the borough with the assistance of PlayBoard NI.

This review formed the basis of the new play strategy, which outlined a framework for council to advocate for and champion the right to play as well as to identify key priorities for the enhancement of play opportunities.

The play strategy gives due regard to the significant capital investment in new and refurbished play sites to meet the needs of children, parents and the local community in all areas across the borough.

Works at all six play parks will be carried out simultaneously over the next few months in time for summer and deliver a range of improvements including new play equipment, safety surfacing, and fencing where necessary along with landscaping and other groundworks.

Lord Mayor Alderman Gareth Wilson welcomed the announcement, saying, “With access to quality outdoor play provision of paramount importance to a child’s physical, emotional, social and educational development, I’m delighted that we’re investing a significant amount in this area.

Through the delivery of our play strategy, we aim to improve the range and quality of outdoor play facilities, maintain our network of play parks to the highest standard and, most importantly, target our resources at play parks identified as most in need of enhancement.

Right from the start there was a collective will to deliver our play strategy in partnership with schools and local communities who were widely consulted on the improvements at each location. Thanks to everyone who engaged with us at the design stage. Their input has been invaluable in enabling us to ensure the first set of upgraded play parks will offer challenging and stimulating outdoor play experiences.

To ensure the ongoing successful implementation of the new play strategy, we will continue to consult with local communities and encourage parents with young children to take an active role in the development of local play facilities.

A further two phases, scheduled to be completed by March 2019, will see another 12 play parks upgraded with an additional investment of £1.75m – underlining once again the high premium that we, as a council, place on these important amenities.

This will build on the success of similar past projects completed during the council’s first year when it spent £859,000 on providing new play parks in Gilford, Laurencetown, Milford, Mountnorris, Clady, Gosford Forest Park and Banbridge.

Our ambitious programme of improving children’s play parks fits in well with the wider council agenda of enhancing quality of life, bringing communities closer together, and improving health and well-being.”

11 Apr

At Macmillan Cancer Support we want to listen to and understand the experiences, views and needs of people affected by cancer, so that we can provide services that best meet those needs.

We would love you to join us for a community event where you will have the opportunity to:
• Meet and talk to other people affected by cancer
• Hear about ways your experience can make a difference
• Take the first steps in getting involved


For more information, click here

09 Apr

Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council has appointed Farrans, one of the UK and Ireland’s largest and most successful building contractors to construct the new South Lakes Leisure Centre.  The company have moved on site to begin initial early works for the new leisure development.


The impending works that are taking place on site are:


  • The Watersports Centre has been closed and cleared for demolition.
  • The hoarding for the building site is being erected and will be finished in March 2018.
  • Demolition of the Watersports Centre will start in April 2018.
  • New temporary accommodation for the Watersport Centre will be placed in the grounds of the Civic Centre. The Watersport Centre will operate from this site for the duration of the build.
  • Ground works will take place on site for a 3 month period until June 2018.
  • June onwards will see the build of the new facility starting.


As could be expected, there will be some access disruption for our customers throughout the build period; this includes:

  • The underpass from Drumgor will remain open only to allow access to the bus stop on Lakeview Road heading towards Lurgan.
  • Access from Drumgor to Rushmere shopping Centre and to the Lakes will be via the footbridge over the Lakeview Road.
  • The car park at the old Watersport Centre will remain closed throughout the duration of the build; alternative parking options include the South car park situated on the Lurgan Road, Tannaghmore Gardens and the Boalie carpark (Kilvergan Road), please refer to the map below.



Public toilet provision will be provided at Tannaghmore Gardens and, in due course, at the temporary Watersport Centre (within the grounds of the Civic Centre).


Access around the Lakes for walkers and cyclists will be maintained both during and after the building of the facility.


For more information on the South Lakes Leisure Centre project, click here!

09 Apr

Council would like to apologise to our customers who experienced inconvenience this morning when trying to access the paths around Craigavon Lakes.

The contractors appointed to build the new leisure centre had to temporarily close this path to allow ground works to take place.

The path has now reopened to allow full access to the site for all our customers.


For more information on how the South Lakes Leisure Centre build is going, click here

26 Mar

Lurgan Junior Parkrun – Weekly free 2k timed run for Juniors!

Junior Parkrun is a series of 2k runs for children aged between 4 and 14. They are held in areas of open space around the UK. They are open to all, free, and are safe and easy to take part in. If you are not a junior please come along to one of our weekly Saturday parkrun events instead.

For more information click here

26 Mar

Heart & Sole Colour Dash is back & bigger for 2018!


It’s back!  The hugely popular Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council’s Heart & Sole Colour Dash 2018 will be bursting into Lurgan Park on Sunday 13th May.

You don’t have to be an athlete to take part, you can run, walk or a mixture of both – the colour dash is entirely for fun!

The event kicks off at 2pm with a fun group warm up before runners and walkers take to the course getting doused with colour powder at various points.  Once over the finish line, there will be lots to keep you entertained.  A bouncy castle, face painting, balloon modelling and of course our DJ counting down to a ‘colour throw’ that will fill the sky with an amazing rainbow of colour.

Adult tickets cost £15, children 3-14 years £10, a family ticket (2 adults and 2 children 3-14 years) cost £35.  All proceeds from the event will be going to the British Heart Foundation Northern Ireland.

“This is a fantastic event for novice runners and walkers of all ages and abilities – it is not a race just simply a colourful afternoon of fun!  The colour dash is also a great opportunity for families and friends to get outdoors, enjoy the park, have fun, exercise and raise vital funds for charity” said Deputy Lord Mayor of Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon, Councillor Sam Nicholson.

So don’t miss out, get signed up, come along and enjoy the party atmosphere at this year’s Heart & Sole Colour Dash, organised by Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council in association with the Public Health Agency, British Heart Foundation Northern Ireland, Ulster Carpets, House of Sport Intersport and Tesco.


Registration is now open

26 Mar


Changes to the facilities and services provided by Armagh City, Banbridge & Craigavon Borough Council across the wider Craigavon area during the Easter holiday period are:



Bins will be collected as normal on Friday 30th March and Tuesday 3rd April. Bins due to be collected on Monday 2nd April will be collected on Saturday 31st March


New Line, Lurgan, Recycling Centre

Open: 30 March (9.00am-5.45pm)
Open: 31 March (9.00am-3.45pm)
Closed: 1-2 April
Open: 3 April (9.00am-3.45pm)
Open: 4 April (9.00am-5.45pm)
Open: 5 April (9.00am-7.45pm)


Fair Green, Portadown, Recycling Centre

Open: 30 March (9.00am-5.45pm
Open: 31 March (9.00am-3.45pm
Closed: 1-2 April
Open: 3 April (9.00am-3.45pm)
Open: 4 April (9.00am-7.45pm)
Open: 5 April (9.00am-5.45pm)


Craigavon Civic Centre

Closed: 30 March-3 April


Cascades Leisure Complex

Open: 30 March (9.00am-5.00pm)
Open: 31 March (10.00am-4.00pm)
Closed: 1-3 April
Open: 4 April (6.45am-9.30pm)


Craigavon Leisure Centre

Closed: 30 March
Open: 31 March (9.00am-4.00pm)
Closed: 1-3 April
Open: 4 April (9.00am-10.00pm)
(early morning swim 7.45am)


Waves Leisure Complex

Closed: 30 March
Open: 31 March (8.30am-4.00pm)
Closed: 1-2 April
Open: 3 April (9.00am-5.00pm)
Open: 4 April (6.30am-9.30pm)


Craigavon Golf Ski Centre

Open: 30 March (9.00am-9.00pm)
Open: 31 March (9.00am-5.00pm)
Open: 1 April (9.00am-5.00pm)
Open: 2-4 April (9.00am-9.00pm)


Kinnego Marina Office

Open: 30 March-4 April (9.00am-6.00pm)


Oxford Island Site

Open: 30 March-4 April (8.00am-7.00pm)


Lough Neagh Discovery Centre

Open: 30-31 March (10.00am-5.00pm)
Open: 1 April (10.00am-6.00pm)
Open: 2-4 April (10.00am-5.00pm)


Tannaghmore Animal Farm

Open: 30 March-4 April (10.00am-7.00pm)


Public Parks

Open: 30 March-4 April (7.00am-8.00pm)


Town Halls, Community Centres and Brownlow Community Hub

These facilities will be closed from Friday 30 March to Tuesday 3 April inclusive, except for those bookings that have confirmed in advance.

20 Mar

Clare Glen Caravan Park was officially reopened by Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough, Alderman Gareth Wilson on Friday 16 March in the presence of elected members, John Hill from the British Graded Holiday Parks Scheme and members of the public following recent refurbishment works.

The Park had been closed during the months of January and February to carry out the refurbishment work which included upgrading the showers, painting throughout, new flooring installed in the laundry room and throughout the building and the installation of a new aluminium entrance door with mechanical number coded lock.

The Lord Mayor complimented all those involved in the refurbishment work, “It’s wonderful to be here today to reopen the Park and welcome the public back to such a beautiful setting, I applaud all those involved in modernising the amenity building and in turn enhancing the customer’s overall experience. It’s important that we continue to invest in our facilities and parks, this project was completed at a cost £10,000.”

During a recent assessment, the British Graded Holiday Parks Scheme accredited by Tourism NI awarded Clare Glen Caravan Park a 4 star rating, John Hill commented, “I am delighted to confirm Clare Glen Caravan Park has been awarded a 4 star rating for its overall quality assessment, the recent refurbishment has greatly contributed this.”

The Caravan Park is set within the beautiful Clare Glen on the banks of the Cusher River and is located approximately 1 mile outside Tandragee on the Markethill road. It includes twenty five touring pitches which are suitable for tents, caravans and motorhomes.

For further information please visit

14 Mar

Changes to facilities and services provided by Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council


CentreSat 17 March 2018Mon 19 March 2018
OLCCLOSED9am – 5pm
BLC8am – 5pm9am – 5pm
Waves8:30am – 3:30pmCLOSED
CLC9am – 4pmCLOSED
Cascades10am – 4pm9am – 5pm
14 Mar

Farrans to start preparatory work for new leisure facility ahead of 2020 official opening


Early-stage planning and initial enabling works necessary to create a new, multi-million sports and leisure facility in Craigavon are under way, paving the way for the construction of a new flagship health and wellbeing destination with facilities that will rival the best available anywhere in the world.


Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council has confirmed that Farrans, one of the UK and Ireland’s largest and most successful building contractors, is preparing to move on site next month to begin initial early works for the new leisure development.


Working closely with the council, the company has already initiated a proactive campaign to inform local communities about the impending works.


After almost eight years since plans were formalised, the council said the highly-anticipated project, which has been future-proofed to meet the health and leisure needs for generations, remained on track to open in just over two years’ time.


Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon, Alderman Gareth Wilson, said:


“With planning secured and an agreed work schedule in place, the council’s vision to provide transformational leisure facilities which will be enjoyed by existing and future generations for decades to come is at last being realised.


“Recreation brings people together from all generations and I am certain that once completed, this landmark health and leisure facility will serve a growing community that will be encouraged to improve their health and wellbeing, to participate in an activity at whatever level they choose, and, above all, have fun.”


Based in Northern Ireland but with offices across the UK, Farrans is an award-winning market leader in project delivery and has a wealth of experience across a range of sectors, including leisure.


The company behind the award-winning £38 million Aurora Aquatic and Leisure Centre in Bangor, Farrans has also completed a major £15 million redevelopment of the existing leisure facility at Rushcliffe Civic Centre in Nottingham, breathing new life into the area last year. It is also poised to work on constructing One Bankmore Square in Belfast – a planned scheme for the largest single office building in Northern Ireland.


In addition to the staff that will run the new leisure facility, the project will create more than 500 jobs during the build. The construction phase alone is also expected to deliver an estimated £6.5 million in direct wages to the economy.


Brigid McGuigan, Farrans’ community engagement manager, said:


“We’re excited that this transformational, multimillion-pound development project will soon start to take shape and we look forward to further engaging our communities, updating them on new build plans and on progress throughout.

We encourage feedback and we will work hard to minimise the sometimes inevitable but temporary disruption that large-scale construction can cause. This is our commitment and it is our priority.”


Once complete, the new gym will be the largest available on the island of Ireland, featuring state-of-the-art equipment, spin and dance studios. It will also include an extensive health and beauty suite, activity rooms, squash courts and a large sports hall suitable for a variety of sporting activities, as well an extensive outdoor watersports provision.


Plans for the new leisure complex – first floated in 2010 – are part of a wider and ambitious regeneration programme across the ABC area. It will represent the largest capital project ever undertaken by the council since its formation in 2015 and will provide an enhanced facility designed to improve the quality of life and wellbeing of the whole borough.


The total project cost is estimated at around £35 million.


For more visit the South Lakes Leisure Centre section of our site.

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