North Belfast MP Nigel Dodds has met with the Minister of Finance and Personnel, Simon Hamilton MLA, along with senior Newtownabbey Borough Council officers to discuss the redevelopment of the Valley Park.
This was one in a series of meetings organised by the DUP in pursuit of securing available Special European Union Programmes Body (SEUPB) funding for the project.
Commenting on Thursday’s meeting, Mr Dodds said: “Today was yet another important step in our attempt to see SEUPB funding redirected to the Valley Park for the development of the council’s shared space initiative ‘Voices from the Valley Park’.
“Over many months I, alongside my party colleague Diane Dodds MEP, have been lobbying hard and pushing the case for SEUPB funding to be redirected to the Valley Park.
“We both have written to and spoken with the chief executive of the SEUPB, Pat Colgan, to reiterate our support for this project and have highlighted the very real and tangible impact it would have in the Newtownabbey area.
“Today’s meeting was of vital importance as any proposal which is to gain SEUPB funding must be signed off by the finance minister. Having heard the detail of the proposal and our case for it, it was clear that the minister is as passionate about this project as we are.
“Diane and I gave a commitment that we would stand by this council initiative from the outset. After today’s positive meeting, I am very hopeful that the council’s bid to SEUPB will be successful.”