CONTRACTOR TD McKane and Son from Castlederg have started work to construct a majestic new access road to St Columb’s Park House.
St Columb’s Park Avenue will run from St Columb’s Road to the historic manor house that has been used as a peace and reconciliation hub since 1994.
The work forms part of the wider St Columb’s Park Regeneration project and will complement the successful restoration of St Columb’s Park House and the recently completed public realm project within the environs of the house.
The programme of works will include the construction of new gates, piers, stone walls and railings opposite Ebrington along with a new realigned, resurfacing, traffic calmed and lit avenue to St Columb’s Park House.
Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Councillor John Boyle, welcomed this latest milestone in the park’s regeneration.
“This is another exciting step in the continued regeneration of the park,” he said.
“When completed the avenue will provide a fitting entry for shared used to the magnificent St Columb’s Park House.
“Council officers have worked closely with the Department for Communities (DfCc) the St Columb’s Park House and the Acorn Fund to bring this developing this project to this point and I would like to congratulate all the stakeholders on their collaborative efforts.
“We are fortunate to have such an expansive green space in the centre of our city and, along with the redevelopment of the historic path network and the walled garden at the house, the avenue is a significant addition to the existing community resource at St Columb’s Park House.”
Paul McNaught, Department for Communities added: “The Department for Communities £265,000 investment will help transform the existing entrance and improve linkages within this outstanding public park while retaining its historic character.
“The project, when complete, will provide easier access to and from Ebrington, the Peace Bridge, the Greenway network and to the various events, attractions, recreational facilities and extensive glenside walks in the park.”
Sharon Doherty, St Columb’s Park House: “The development of the new St Columbs Park Avenue will provide a befitting entrance and drive way up to St Columbs Park House and add to the impressive stance and beauty of the House and parkland.
“We welcome this continuing investment in the City’s most beautiful green space knowing that this new and improved avenue will provide a safe and well lit passage through the park for both pedestrians and vehicles.
“This along with the development of the Walled Garden will transform St Columbs Park in the coming months and we here at the House are planning a host of exciting events for the summer months including our 25th Birthday Celebrations”
Acorn Fund Development Officer Shauna Kelpie added: “We are excited for the Avenue Project works at St Columb’s Park to begin as it will enhance the park experience for local people and mark the beginning of a new phase for how we access and enjoy our natural environment.”
Council’s Parks Management advise that alternative arrangements will be made to accessing St Columbs Park House and that the hard stand to the existing entrance will no longer be available for car parking during the duration of the 3 month contract.
Members of the public are advised that there will also be a number of sectional park closures, alternative car parking arrangements and changes to greenway access during the construction phase of the project that users will be informed of through signage and on social media.