Have your say on Valley Park redevelopment plans

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Members of the public are being invited to have their say on the council’s ambitious plans for the redevelopment of the Valley Park.

The local authority recently secured conditional funding of £3.5million from the Special European Union Programmes Body (SEUPB) for the Shared Space Project.

The redevelopment will completely transform the existing park through the creation of a civic linear park and an adventure play park. The scheme will also involve the construction of new state-of-the-art sports facilities, including a floodlit 3G pitch suitable for football, rugby and Gaelic games.

Funding for the £3.9million project was granted by SEUPB through the Peace III Programme after money earmarked for the shelved Maze Peace Centre plan was reallocated to other initiatives.

Barring any hold-ups in terms of funding or planning issues, work on the project is scheduled to be completed by July 2015.

A period of public consultation will begin next week to give local people, community groups, sports clubs and other organisations the chance to have their say on the council’s plans for the site.

The first open consultation session will take place on Thursday, March 27 at the Valley Leisure Centre. Community Places, a local not-for-profit advice organisation, will facilitate the meeting in conjunction with Newtownabbey Borough Council.

Mayor Fraser Agnew is encouraging the public to get involved in the upcoming consultation process.

“This is a great opportunity for local communities, sports clubs, schools and the wider community to share ideas for the development of the park including its design, access needs and other key areas,” he commented.

“We are hoping for a good turnout and encourage those with an interest in this project to attend one of the upcoming consultations to put forth their ideas.”

A council spokesperson said that the park redevelopment will provide “a comprehensive range of facilities for all communities from across the borough and beyond.”

Consultation events will take place at the Valley Leisure Centre on Thursday, March 27 and Thursday May 15.

There will be afternoon (2pm - 3.30pm) and evening (7pm - 8.30pm) sessions on both dates.

Anyone wanting to register for the events should contact Wendy or Vicky on 9034 0060.

For more information about the Valley Park Shared Space Project call Oonagh on 9034 0193 or email omcmullan@newtownabbey.gov.uk