Improvements to pathways, play areas and fishing stands among plans
Improvement project will bring in more visitors
by STACEY HEANEY
Overseeing the development of the new riverside park are: (l-r) Ms Cathy Burns, Laganscape Manager; Councillor Jenny Palmer, Lisburn City Council; Mr Martin Donnelly, Site Manager of Whitemountain Quarries; Alderman Jim Dillon, Chairman of the Council's Economic Development Committee; Mr Barry Donaghy, Hilden Community Association and Mr Paul Mullan, Heritage Lottery Fund.
WORK has started on a new riverside park along the River Lagan at Millbrook, close to Lisburn City Centre.
The project, which has received funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) through the Laganscape Partnership, will see improvements made to the pathways, installation of play areas, fishing stands and restoration of heritage features. Lisburn City Council has also contributed financially to the project as it initially developed the project idea.
Alderman Jim Dillon, Chairman of the Council's Economic Development Committee, said: "Improvement work will be carried out to a small footbridge at Hilden, crossing the Mill Race, along with riverside landscaping and restored habitats. A new adventure playground will be complemented by interpretive panels helping to bring the natural and built heritage to life. This scheme has been in the planning for a long time and we were very happy to see the contractor on site and delivering our vision for this area."
"This project will see some important work carried out. The area will be made more accessible for visitors of all abilities through the upgrading of pathways and entrance features."
The works on the 'Millbrook Huguenot Riverside Scheme' started last month and are expected to be completed in the autumn.
Mr. Paul Mullan, Head of HLF Northern Ireland, said: "The Laganscape Landscape Partnership has already achieved so much and it is wonderful to see work commence on this latest project. The riverside scheme will open up and increase access to the natural heritage and biodiversity of the area for both local residents and visitors to learn about and enjoy, and we are delighted to be involved. "The improvements this project will bring to the Lagan Corridor will not only benefit local residents but will attract visitors from farther afield; and act to conserve its beautiful historic setting for future generations to enjoy."
Ms. Cathy Burns, Laganscape Programme Manager, added: "This is an
exciting project within Lagan Valley Regional Park. We in Laganscape are
delighted to be working with Lisburn City Council and the local
community to deliver improvements, which will see a new recreation
amenity created along with the conservation of wildlife and the local
heritage attached to the nearby Hilden
Mill." Representatives of the Hilden area will contribute to the project through the planting of shrubbery and the maintenance of the area after the contractors have completed the works.
Barry Donaghy of Hilden Community Association said: "Plans were developed over a number of years in consultation with the local community and other stakeholders. The community are very much looking forward to this riverside project being completed. Over the summer months we are developing plans along with the Council and Laganscape staff to ensure the community, and in particular the youth are involved in the work and also future management of the area."