by STACEY HEANEY
Members of the Friends of Wallace Park are pictured at the official opening of the Phase II refurbishment works of Wallace Park which conclude the project and the naming of the new changing pavilion in honour of Ivan Davis, 0BE. Also pictured are Mr Ivan Davis, 0BE; the Mayor of Lisburn, Councillor Brian Heading and Councillor Thomas Beckett, Chairman of the Council's Leisure Services Committee.
THE second and final phase of the £3m Wallace Park refurbishments have been officially opened.
And as part of the opening Lisburn Council officially unveiled the new changing pavilion, which has been named in honour of Ivan Davis, OBE, Freeman of the City.
The council said that Mr Davis, who served as a councillor from 1973 until standing down last year, has always been committed to all sports in the wider community in Lisburn and they were honoured to name the new changing pavilion after him.
At the official naming of the new changing pavilion in Wallace Park, known as the 'Ivan Davis Pavilion' are: (l-r) Alderman Paul Porter, Vice-Chairman of the Council's Leisure Services Committee; the Mayor of Lisburn, Councillor Brian Heading; Mr Ivan Davis, 0BE; and Councillor Thomas Beckett, Chairman of the Council's Leisure Services Committee.
Speaking about the refurbishment, the Mayor, Councillor Brian Heading, said: "When serving as the Chairman of Leisure Services Committee I was closely involved with the final refurbishment plans submitted for planning permission. I am delighted that the Council and its partners have retained the character of Wallace Park and provided recreational opportunities for all the residents.
The Phase II works built on the success of the play area, which was opened in 2010, and ensure that Wallace Park is an ideal venue for those who may want to have a stroll, feed the ducks, participate in their sport or attend an event."
Approximately £3 million was invested by the Council in the refurbishment works that were completed in two phases.
Councillor Thomas Beckett, Chairman of the Leisure Services Committee, said: "It is a privilege to mark the completion of Wallace Park's refurbishment and an honour to name the new pavilion in respect of Ivan Davis.
"He has had a lifetime involvement and interest in sport and leisure and has been to the fore when the council provided all of its key leisure facilities.
"I hope that all sportsmen and women will benefit from the new Ivan Davis Pavilion and refurbished tennis courts," he concluded.
Mr Davis said he felt honoured to have 'such an excellent pavilion named after him and to be able to celebrate the completion of the refurbishment of Wallace Park.
"When I was first elected to the council in 1973 Lisburn was very proactive in providing facilities for its residents with the opening of Glenmore Activity Centre in 1978, one of the first of its kind in Northern Ireland" he recalled.
"Over the years I have had the privilege to have my name associated with many excellent facilities including the Irish Linen Centre and Lisburn Museum, Lagan Valley LeisurePlex and the extension of Aberdelghy Golf Course. However, to have such an excellent facility in Wallace Park named after me has left me both honoured and humbled. I have toured the new pavilion and am confident that the high quality and standard of facilities will serve the needs of sports players for many years.
"Lisburn City Council can be proud of its investment in Wallace Park and the benefits to the people of Lisburn and beyond, following the refurbishment. I take great pride in the major leisure and sporting investment the council has provided over the years, and it has helped to establish our City as one of the leading centres for sport in Northern Ireland.
"Centres such as the Salto City of Lisburn National Gymnastics Centre, Lisburn Racquets Club, Lisnagarvey Hockey Club and Lisburn Cricket Club, which is celebrating its 175th year, have also all played a role in placing Lisburn in the forefront for sporting facilities."
At the official opening The Friends of Wallace Park planted a tree alongside those planted by the Mayor, Councillor Beckett and Mr Davis