McIlveen delivers £350,000 boost for rural community in Armagh

Date published: 24 January 2017

The Minister for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs, Michelle McIlveen MLA, today announced that work is due to commence on the Forkhill Greenspace project in County Armagh.

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The £350,000 project, which is jointly funded by the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) and Newry, Mourne and Down Council, involves the construction of a 800 metre pathway together with a number of environmental features and complementary street furniture which will meander round the perimeter of the former military base site. The pathway has been designed in such a way that it will not compromise any future development on the site and will also protect a number of mature trees.

DAERA Minister Michelle McIlveen said: “The Forkhill Greenspace project will provide a state of the art walking track which will not only enhance the local environment, but will also provide a means for local residents to improve their health by enabling them to exercise in a safe environment. It will also help improve education through the provision of an outdoor classroom and other nature linked features." 

Acknowledging the start of the Greenspace Project, Mayor of Newry Mourne and Down District Council, Cllr Gillian Fitzpatrick stated that: “The forthcoming pathway works at the former barracks site, offers the local community a great opportunity to have a new recreational space within the village which young and old can benefit from using.”

Chairman of the Forkhill & District Development Association (FADDA) Raymond McCumiskey said: “We are delighted that work on the Greenspace project has commenced and we acknowledge the commitment from DAERA and Newry, Mourne and Down Council, as regards the provision of the funding for the project which will significantly enhance the village and represents a further step in the redevelopment of this site.” 

The Minister added: “This facility, which was designed in conjunction with the local community, aims to promote creativity, innovation and excitement and is another example of my Department working in conjunction with Councils and local communities to improve the quality of life of our rural citizens.”

The work is being carried out by McAvoy Construction NI and the project will be managed by Aecom. Newry, Mourne and Down Council has accepted responsibility for the future maintenance of the facility.

Notes to editors: 

  1. All media queries should be directed to the DAERA Press Office on 028 9052 4619 or email DAERA Press Office: Out of office hours please contact the duty press officer via pager number 07623 974 383 and your call will be returned. Follow us on Twitter @daera_ni.

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