Official opening for new park

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Councillor Glenn Barr has said Solitude Park is the ‘jewel in the crown’ of the Banbridge area ahead of the official opening of the new play park.

The play park has undergone refurbishment in recent years and is due to be officially opened by the Lord Mayor and council representatives on July 7.

Councillor Barr said he ‘proud’ of the new park.

“As Chairman of the Leisure Development Committee I am as proud as punch that Solitude Park has become a new way of bringing about a play park for children,” he commented,

“It’s the jewel in the crown for the area. It brings health benefits for kids, adapting new ways for them to play, allowing them to enjoy physical activity and even overcoming fears by climbing.”

And it’s not just the children who can get fit in Solitude Park, with the park having a variety of short walks and a riverside location, allowing adults to also get outdoors and get fit.

“Solitude Park has a nice walk around it,” Mr Barr said. “People can get out and go for a walk or go to the park.”

The local councillor also believes that Solitude Park will attract other people from outside the Banbridge area, and potentially boost the local economy.

“Once word gets out parents will bring their kids to try something new. It will bring people to the town and people will go shopping, or they may be shopping and decide to go for a half hour walk.”

The park also offers free outdoor events, such as theatrical productions and cinema screenings, leading Councillor Barr to describe Solitude Park as ‘unique’.

“Solitude is a unique park in that it’s close to the town centre, people can go down to whatever events are running, and enjoy the amenities and the open space, and still be near the town centre. In other areas parks can be out of the way.”

Mr Barr also urged local people to keep the park tidy and free of anti-social behaviour.

“Hopefully local people will keep it clean,” he said. “Hopefully vandals will stay clear. That’s what happened the last one, setting fires and breaking bottles, and general anti-social behaviour.

“If anybody sees anyone in there doing anything like this I’d ask them to report it to the PSNI.”