News

14 Nov

£75,000 investment for new outdoor games area in Drumsill Park, Longstone

Lord Mayor Mealla Campbell along with the local community at Longstone formally unveiled the new multi-use games area (MUGA) on Tuesday 12 November.

The new £75,000 outdoor games area will enhance the local area encouraging participation and interaction within the community.  The MUGA features a floodlit tarmac surface with built-in goal post units to facilitate various sports and games for the local community.

Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon, Councillor Mealla Campbell said,

“I am thrilled to officially open this fantastic new development at Longstone.  Key to the success of this project has been the partnership approach of the local community who have worked together with the council.

“This really is a brilliant example of partnership working and I want to pay tribute to the community association for what they have achieved for their local community.  This will be a facility that will be enjoyed by all for years to come.”

Under a service level agreement the proactive community association will be responsible for the opening and closing of the facility.

Paul Cartmill from Longstone Community Association, said,

“We are delighted with the new facility, it has taken us a while but we got there to provide this for our children and young people to enjoy.  We would like to thank all those who were involved in making this happen.”

The £75,000 investment is part of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council’s £4.75m Play Strategy 2018-2026. The eight-year strategy puts ABC Council at the forefront of health, recreation and leisure in Northern Ireland, actively championing play to help improve understanding of its critical importance to children and young people.

Farrans were the lead contractor for the works while sub-contractor Garden Escapes a specialist playground equipment company supplied and installed the equipment.

31 Oct

Farrans welcomes up to 20 apprentices to help develop new local construction leaders.

Up to 20 apprentices are experiencing first class on-the-job training as part of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council’s stunning new £35 million leisure complex in Craigavon.

On track for completion next year, construction of the new leisure centre is being led by local construction and engineering firm Farrans.

The dedicated programme to provide a new and exciting range of opportunities for young people keen on progressing a career in the construction sector started last year and up to 20 apprentices are being deployed across a range of roles.

Once complete, the leisure centre, which will create 500 construction jobs during its development, will be home to world class facilities including a 50-metre swimming pool, Northern Ireland’s largest gym at over 1,000 square metres, an eight-court sports hall and an extensive outdoor water-sports provision.

Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon, Councillor Mealla Campbell, said:

“Skills development is a key priority in helping to drive, support and grow a successful local economy and we’re delighted that working with Farrans on our largest capital project investment to date, has created so many opportunities for work-based learning and training have been created. Our apprentices are ambassadors for our Council and we’re really proud of the work they do and the contribution they make.”

The innovative build, which is advancing fast and is on course for completion in 2020, will also feature an indoor children’s soft play area and innovative new ‘Pool Pod’ platform lifts, designed to improve pool access for people with disabilities and for those less mobile.

Felim Blaney, Contracts Manager, Farrans Construction, said:

“Our success is built on the skills and talent of our team and we’re keen to drive recruitment numbers across all areas of our business and across the wider sector, producing a motivated ‘talent pipeline’ of keen and motivated people who will be our future leaders.

“Working with Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council, we’re delighted to be offering up to 20 people the opportunity to come and work with us to help us create an inspiring destination and a once-in-a-generation opportunity to help positively shape the health and well being of everyone in the locality”.

“Apprentices are vitally important for the local and wider economy and for providing on-the-job prospects in real-life scenarios. They also help to build skills and confidence and can help dramatically accelerate careers.”

The construction phase alone is expected to deliver an estimated £6.5 million in direct wages to the economy, and the 500 jobs directly created are in addition to the staff that will run the new leisure facility.

Apprentice engineer and a competitive swimmer at Banbridge Amateur Swimming Club, Kealan McCambridge said his experience working on the new leisure centre was unbeatable.

“When the opportunity arose to move to the leisure centre site, which is also close to home, I was ecstatic. I’ve been able to quickly advance my skill set and improve my knowledge as an engineer for the future. Working on this project has also enabled me to greatly understand the functionality of large-scale buildings, which will aid me in my experience and knowledge as I drive towards finishing my degree in Civil engineering.

“I look forward to the new centre opening in 2020 and I will take great pride in knowing that I contributed to this flagship project. I’m also looking forward to the further opportunities it will continue to bring to the local area for many years to come.”

As part of ABC Council’s commitment to high levels of spend within the local market and small to medium-sized enterprises, it commissioned Farrans Construction through the Scape Procure National Construction – Major Works England and Northern Ireland framework to build the new leisure centre.

Scape’s collaborative ethos involves engaging with approved local businesses, sub-contractors and suppliers, ensuring that the Craigavon project will provide significant employment opportunities for local residents and businesses.

For more information on the new South Lake Leisure centre, click HERE.

24 Oct

It’s a monster mash of ghostly goings-on and fantastically frightening fun at our Halloween Extravaganza on Thursday 31st October.

The spooky spectacular gets underway at Rushmere Shoping Centre with a creepy collection of colourful characters, face painters, temporary tattooists, dancing and music from 3pm.

To set the scene for the main event, a spooky parade will leave Rushmere at 7.30 pm and set a course to Craigavon Lakes for the fabulous firework display which will light up the night sky at 8pm.

This year’s show will feature over 3000 shells and effects, plus to accommodate the viewing restrictions created by the new South Lake Leisure Centre build, will include a host of high aerial fireworks, including Golden Spiders, Gold Tail Silver Falling Leaves and Crackling Spider with Silver Tails, Silver Dragons and Green Strobes that can be viewed from right across the entire area!

A spectacular evening not to be missed!!

24 Oct

The second phase completion of the £250,000 Gilford Riverside Trail project has transformed a derelict and underutilised section of the river corridor into a quality multi-use walking and cycling trail, and provided a new first-class outdoor recreational amenity that will help improve the health and wellbeing of local people.

Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon, Councillor Mealla Campbell welcomed members of Gilford Community Forum, teachers and pupils from Gilford PS (Craigavon) and St. John’s PS, Bannvale Special Education Centre service users and staff, funding body representatives from DAERA and SOAR along with elected members to the official opening of this new section of the trail today (23rd October).

She praised the efforts of all those who had played a part in bringing this project to fruition and acknowledged that its completion has the potential to transform lives, commenting:

“This new amenity will be a game changer for the local community, and will hopefully motivate more individuals who lead sedentary lifestyles to increase their physical activity level and enjoy the health benefits that regular exercise brings.

It’s long been our ambition to see this section of riverside trail extended and enhanced so that the recreational value of this wonderful environmental asset can be fully appreciated.

Creating a riverside trail was first identified as a viable project in the Gilford Village Plan 2012. Today we come together – community, council, funders and key contributors – to celebrate its successful completion. Well done to all involved!”

The completion of this second phase of works on council-owned land has created a scenic riverside trail that stretches 845 metres and connects Bridge Street and Gilford Community Centre to the attractive Woodlands Park, passing the iconic Gilford Mill building along the way.

In addition to creating a short section of walkway over the remains of the old millrace and constructing a new footbridge across the millrace, the council undertook associated works to enhance the trail including landscaping, installing street furniture, lighting and interpretative panels.

The second phase has been completed thanks to £250,000 in funds allocated by SOAR’s Local Action Group. This project was part funded under Priority 6 (LEADER) of the Northern Ireland Rural Development Programme 2014-2020 from the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs and the European Union.

Chair of SOAR ABC Roisin McAliskey added,

“This project has been completed to an exceptionally high standard, and is exemplary of how funds from SOAR’s Rural Village Renewal scheme can be used to support the implementation of local village plans.”

Open to the public since July, the new trail is already proving to be a popular destination for walkers, runners and cyclists.

Welcoming completion of the trail, Jerome Burns, Contracts Manager, Southern Rural Affairs Division at the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) said:

“This trail has been completed as part of a suite of village enhancement measures financed through the Village Renewal strand of the Leader Rural Development Programme.  It provides a great opportunity for everyone to enjoy the many benefits of outdoor activity, and it is an excellent example of how DAERA is delivering on its vision of a ‘living, working, active landscape valued by everyone.”

Given its proximity to Gilford Community Centre, this marvellous amenity set in an attractive riverside setting greatly complements the centre with its excellent indoor and outdoor facilities including a climbing wall, trim trail, picnic tables, pump track, canoe landings and beginners’ canoe slalom course.

The council acknowledges with thanks the co-operation of the owners of Gilford Mill, Karl Asset Management, which enabled this project to proceed along with The MWA Partnership Ltd, Landscape Architects and A.G. Wilson Ltd.

23 Oct

Halloween school holidays are fast approaching, Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council have a spooktacular line up of getactiveabc kids Halloween activities to keep the boredom at bay.

Taking place at locations across the borough, the activities present a vast range of persuits to keep young ones active, healthy and happy.

Highlights include Halloween Schemes suitable for 4 – 14 year olds taking place at Keady, Tandragee and Richhill Recreation Centres from 9.00am to 3.00pm daily.

Craigavon Golf Ski Centre is offering action-packed activity days that gives adventurous kids the opportunity to experience a range of fun and proactive activities, suitable for aged 5 – 14 year olds.

For a full list of whats on offer for young people this halloween and further information including costs and how to book go to www.getactiveabc.com/halloween

17 Oct

Avenue Road is now the proud owner of a fantastic refurbished Play Park, which was officially opened by the Lord Mayor, Councillor Mealla Campbell – and the local community turned out in force to celebrate!

Children from Kingspark Primary School along with community representatives, contractors, elected members and council officials all helped the Lord Mayor to cut the ribbon and officially launch the park!

With an investment of £75,000, the new park caters for all children up to the age of 14. You will find toddler and junior swings, an inclusive basket swing, see-saw, inclusive roundabout, play panels and multi-play climbing units. A range of seating has also been added so parents and guardians can come along and share in the children’s play experiences.

“I am absolutely delighted to be invited along to cut the ribbon and declare this brilliant new park open!” commented the Lord Mayor.

“This is the 13th park to be completed and opened as part of our £4.75m Play Strategy and I know this has been a much anticipated park within the community. It is magical to see the children so enthusiastic and loving the variety of new equipment on offer that will be enjoyed for years to come.”

Farrans were the lead contractor for the works while sub-contractor Garden Escapes – a specialist playground equipment company – supplied and installed the new equipment.

This park, along with 12 others, are just the beginning of a £4.75m Play Strategy which will see a number of parks across the borough being refurbished, alongside our commitment to non-fixed play, which is crucial to child development.

For more information contact the Play Development Officer on 028 3831 1684 or 07515 607 472.

16 Oct

Richhill Recreation Centre was bursting with excitement on Tuesday 15 October when P2 pupils from Hardy Memorial Primary School launched the new Lets Bounce Party Package.

The package duration is 1 hour & 45 minutes and is suitable for children aged 4 – 7 years, the package includes 60 minutes of fully supervised bouncy castle fun with scooters and 45 minutes in the party room for food. Richhill Recreation Centre are unable to provide party food, however, kitchen facilities are available in the party room or outside catering may be brought in.

The Lets Bounce Party package is £65, for further information, please telephone Richhill Recreation Centre on 028 38870718.

10 Oct

Have a hair-raising experience, filled with chills and thrills this Halloween at Portadown People’s Park Family Fun Day on Tuesday 29 October.

Guaranteed to lift your spirits – tickets go on sale on Monday 14 October at 10am from www.getactiveabc.com/halloween and cost £2 per child – so be sure to get your hands on yours!

Taking place from 1pm to 5pm on Tuesday 29 October, the Family Fun Day will see fa-boo-lous amusement rides, circus performers, a mystifying magic show, spine-tingling story telling sessions, soft play, a horrifying haunted house as well as the chance to toast marshmallows.

With creepy craft workshops, play activities, multi-sports sessions also on offer, all with music, hot drinks and ghoulish snacks on sale – there will be something for everyone! And don’t forget wear your spooky costume, wrap up warm and wear your wellies!

This event can only be attended by ticket holders so make sure you don’t miss out on this fang-tastic fun day to remember!

With a high demand expected for this event, be ready to visit getactiveabc.com/halloween this Monday 14 October at 10am! We look forward to seeing you there!

07 Oct

We asked

As part of Council’s Capital Play Development Programme, the play park in Lurgan Park has been designated for refurbishment with an investment of £250,000.

It was suggested that the current existing site (Site 1) might not be in the best location and a potential new site (Site 2) had been identified close to the entrance at Waves Leisure Complex, Robert Street.

Council asked residents for their views on which site they feel would better suit the new District Play Park in Lurgan Park

You Said

Responses

Site 1 136 responses
Site 2 268 responses

The majority of respondants agreed that site 2, beside Waves Leisure Complex (Robert Street entrance) was the most suitable site.

However, after this survey closed a public meeting was held and Council was contacted regarding a number of potential difficulties using the site chosen.

Council asked for guidance from Heritage Lottery Fund and Health & Safety in relation to the site; their advice stated that the site identified  (site 2) could not be used for the new play area.

The play area will remain in the existing site (subject to planning permission), however, it will be larger and will have all the equipment that was previously chosen as part of the consultation with schools and the public.

We Did

The majority of respondants agreed that site 2, beside Waves Leisure Complex (Robert Street entrance) was the most suitable site.

However, after this survey closed a public meeting was held and Council was contacted regarding a number of potential difficulties using the site chosen.

Council asked for guidance from Heritage Lottery Fund and Health & Safety in relation to the site; their advice stated that the site identified  (site 2) could not be used for the new play area.

The play area will remain in the existing site (subject to planning permission), however, it will be larger and will have all the equipment that was previously chosen as part of the consultation with schools and the public

Lurgan Park Playground Walkthrough (subject to planning permission)

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