17th Aug 2012
Sod cutting paves way for 200 jobs in the city's parks
A £5m scheme to improve some of Belfast's outdoor areas will create 200 jobs and 400 work placements, according to the Department of Social Development. The investment is just part of a larger £150m physical Investment Programme agreed by the leaders of the council`s political parties earlier this year.
This week Belfast City Council and the DSD marked the latest project within the programme - a £4m investment in local parks - with an official sod cutting at Dunville and Woodvale parks.
Chair of Belfast City Council's Strategic Policy and Resources Committee, Councillor Deirdre Hargey, and the Minister for Social Development, Nelson McCausland, officially cut the first sod at both sites.
Councillor Hargey said: "The work now on the ground shows that the council's commitment to boosting the city's economy and improving facilities for the city and local communities is real.
"When the party leaders signed up to this programme in February we were determined to get projects on the ground quickly. With the Titanic memorial gardens already completed at City Hall, work at the Mary Peters Track being completed ahead of the 2013 World Police and Fire Games and this work now underway the real benefits of the investment are there to see.
"We hope that this investment will allow future generations to continue to enjoy these facilities."
Participating in the sod-cutting ceremonies, Nelson McCausland, Minister for Social Development, said: "Both the Dunville and Woodvale projects are exciting best practice examples of co-operation and partnership between government, local authorities and, importantly, the local community. They are also a very exciting development in terms of delivery of Neighbourhood Renewal. I know that both these projects address community need identified in the local Neighbourhood Partnership Action Plans".
The projects are a tangible example of how physical development has a key role in community regeneration. I very much welcome investment in public open space, play and sports facilities.
"Such developments are a cornerstone for building community cohesiveness contributing to a safer society where people will want to come to live, work and play," said Mr McCausland.