Aghalee Playing Fields are ready for kick-off

Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council (LCCC) has now completed phase 1 of the Village Improvement Scheme for Aghalee.

Alderman James Tinsley, Chair of the councils Leisure & Community Development Committee with Alderman Allan Ewart MBE, Chair of the councils Development Committee and Chair of Lagan Rural Partnership Local Action Group

Visitors to the area can now enjoy enhanced facilities and improved landscaping at the playing fields in the heart of Aghalee village.

The scheme is being delivered by LCCC and under Priority 6 (LEADER) of the Northern Ireland Rural Development Programme 2014-2020 by the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) and the European Union.

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The recently completed phase one work focused on improving the current leisure and recreational facilities in the village to create a shared space for the whole community. These improvements include a new looped pathway around the football pitch to appeal to avid walkers in the village and the installation of railings around the football pitch and play park. Outdoor gym equipment for people of all abilities has also been introduced at the entrance of the park.

While this first phase of the Village Improvement Scheme is now complete, works will continue throughout the coming months to the area in front of the BT site where the existing fencing will be removed. The area will then be re-landscaped and planted out, which will include screening of the BT building. Bench seating will also be installed to help create a civic space for local residents and a much needed focal point for the village.

Alderman Allan Ewart MBE, Chair of the council’s Development Committee and Chair of Lagan Rural Partnership Local Action Group, said: “I’m delighted to see phase one of the works completed. The improvements look excellent and have really helped towards making Aghalee a more inclusive area for residents and visitors. I look forward to seeing plans for phase two coming to fruition and for the transformation of the Aghalee area to be complete.”

Alderman James Tinsley, Chair of the council’s Leisure and Community Development Committee, said: “I believe the new track has been a great hit with keen walkers in the village and I know the new railings around the play park have been welcomed as an increased safety measure for young children using the area. I would like to thank the residents of the village and local sports teams who use the playing fields for their patience over the summer months and hope they enjoy the newly upgraded facilities.”

Plans for phase two of the scheme are nearing completion and will deliver an improved look and feel across the heart of the entire village. They include introducing traffic calming measures, such as speed bumps, and the resurfacing of footpaths however, consultations with statutory bodies for this phase are ongoing. It is anticipated that construction on phase two will start in the New Year.