Work on play park nears end

Solitude Park  � Edward Byrne Photography INBL18-219EB
Solitude Park � Edward Byrne Photography INBL18-219EB

The installation of a new play area for children in Solitude Park is set to be completed by 18th April after initially being proposed in February 2015.

At that time, proposals from the old Banbridge District Council were for a completely new play area utilising the most up to date standards and designs to be built while none of the existing equipment would be retained.

Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council were able to confirm that the redevelopment would be completed soon.

A council spokesperson said: “The work on Solitude Play Park, which is to install a new state-of-the-art play area for children, is expected to be completed by the week beginning 18th April.”

Belfast based consulting engineers RPS were appointed in February 2015 to undertake the design aspect of this ambitious project.

The news will be welcome to parents and children in Banbridge, who had complained about the state of the play area in Solitude Park as recently as November 2015.

At that time, Niall Parfitt said: “It’s an eyesore and extremely dangerous for children.”

He also explained how this “eyesore” could be putting people off from spending their money in the town centre.

He said: “This is a prime location, right in the centre of the town and close to shops. I would be more inclined to pop in’ to the butchers or have a coffee if I’m in the park.

“Now, I’ll just go to somewhere like Wallace Park, Dromore Park and the local businesses can get my custom there.”

Many had blamed the park’s problems on vandalism and will hope the new play park will not suffer the same fate.

Debby Johnston Clyde had said: “It’s a continuous battle but as you can see in one of these photos this equipment didn’t just break. The tunnels were set on fire.

“This happened at the beginning of the year as well and fair play to the council they replaced them, but then shortly after the replacement the same thing happened again.”