V36, the new state-of-the-art sports facility and play park development next to the Valley Leisure Centre, is now open to the public.
The area of parkland at Church Road has been completely transformed through the creation of new sports facilities, a civic linear park and an adventure play area.
The £4million council-led shared space development received £3.58m of funding under the European Union PEACE III Programme.
The exciting new adventure play area, which opened to the public on Saturday, September 5, is already proving popular with local families.
Macedon Councillor Paul Hamill, who visited the park at the weekend with his daughters, is delighted that the facility is open to the public.
“I am delighted that we have this fantastic new facility. It is a magnificent asset for the whole borough and it’s great to see families out enjoying it.
“Well done to the council and its contractors for completing the project within the short period of time in which they had to do it,” he said.
His DUP colleague, Councillor Thomas Hogg commented: “I visited the new play park at the Valley twice over the weekend and it was buzzing with large numbers of families. The feedback has been absolutely tremendous and I have no doubt that this facility is one of the premier play parks in all of Northern Ireland.
“There is great excitement across Newtownabbey about this new project and I have no doubt that local people will enthusiastically embrace the opportunities presented by the redevelopment.”
UUP council group leader, Alderman Mark Cosgrove added: “Having toured the facility last week, I am proud to say we have created one of the best sporting and recreational facilities in the United Kingdom.
“I would like to pay a tribute to our council officers for the vision and tenacity to develop this concept and to ensure that this project was ‘shovel ready’ so that when the Ulster Unionist campaign to not waste the money on an offensive project at the Maze succeeded that we were ready to take advantage of that situation to bid for nearly £4m and create a world class facility that will provide a lasting legacy for our entire community for generations to come. A massive ‘well done’ to all involved and I would encourage everyone to go and use it with their families.”
The official opening of the new park is scheduled to take place on September 23.
• More coverage in this week’s Times (on sale September 9)