A REPORT into the standard of play park facilities throughout the council area has identified the need for a major investment.
The Play Plan for the Derry City and Strabane District Council area has identified the need for eight new facilities and upgrades for 15 play parks in Strabane and surrounding areas.
The report was brought to the online monthly meeting by Playboard NI, the organisation tasked with overseeing the co-design of the strategy which will shape the future planning and provision of all local play facilities.
Since the assessments began, Sion Mills and Mourne Park have received new play areas, while Artigarvan and Ardstraw have received partial upgrades.
In Strabane, there is potential for five new play areas to be developed to facilitates areas such as Tulacorr, Grangewood and Glenside, Ashdale, Fernbrook and Brookvale, Belladoo, Laurel Drive and Five Acres, the Adria Site and Castletown Road.
The play park at Carlton Drive and the Ballycolman require an upgrade, while enhancement works may be carried out at the play parks at Ballycolman Community Centre, Lisnafin and Courtrai Park.
No immediate action is required for the facilities at the Melvin Sports Complex, Springhill Park or Patrician Villas.
In the Derg DEA, there is potential to open a new play area in Drumlegagh, subject to land availability.
Nine play parks have been identified as needing an upgrade in the area– Killen, Hillview Park, Glebe, Cluny Gardens, Ardstraw, Listymore, Spamount, Millbrook Gardens and Sion Mills.
Only three play areas have been identified as not needing immediate action – Killeter, Victoria Bridge and Mourne Park, Newtownstewart.
In the Sperrin Dea, new play parks are required in Ballymagorry and Cranagh, while upgrades are required to the playparks in Douglas Bridge, Artigarvan, Glenmornan and Camus.
Enhancement work is required at play areas in Plumbridge, Donemana and Vaughans Home in Newtownstewart while no immediate action is required at Riverside in Plumbridge, Faughanview or Mourne Park.
Speaking after the meeting Chair of the Environment and Regeneration Committee Maurice Devenney, said the extensive report set out a positive blueprint for the future of play provision across Strabane.
Mr Devenney said, “The update provided a valuable insight into the priority areas where council needs to focus its attentions when setting out plans in terms of future capital development and the delivery of quality play provision to meet the needs of local communities.
“I welcome the report and I want to acknowledge the significant work by PlayBoard NI and council officers in assessing local need and a positive way forward. We all know there is a huge body of work ahead but we are well on our way to establishing a long term strategy that will allow us to prioritise delivery and agree a funding strategy to be able to deliver much needed facilities. I Iook forward to seeing the feedback from today’s meeting included in the draft plan and that plan moving on to the public consultation phase,” said Mr Devenney.