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New community park and sports zone opens at Westlink Back Path

Date: 25 Nov 2021


Lord Mayor Councillor Kate Nicholl and Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey

Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Kate Nicholl joined Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey to officially open a new Community Park and Sports Zone.

Lord Mayor of Belfast Councillor Kate Nicholl joined Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey to officially open a new Community Park and Sports Zone.

The strip of land beside the Westlink, known locally as the Back Path, has been transformed to a more welcoming and safer space. 

The scheme was delivered following a £951,000 investment by the Department for Communities, through the Building Successful Communities initiative. On completion of the scheme, the Department handed ownership of the park to Belfast City Council. 

Lord Mayor Councillor Kate Nicholl said: “This once derelict site has been completely transformed. It’s a wonderful addition to the city, offering a wide range of amenities that people of all ages and abilities within the local area can enjoy. It’s a shining example of what can be done to inject life into abandoned spaces in the city.” 

The Back Path, which was run down and in decline, has now been renovated with sport and leisure facilities including a running track, gym and Multi-use Games Area (MUGA). There is also play equipment, a seating area and a community garden. An improved access ramp to the nearby Westlink footbridge has also been encompassed as part of the scheme.  

Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey said: “I am delighted that the funding from my Department has delivered the new park and sports zone here at the Back Path for everyone to enjoy. It has totally transformed this area and is a major community asset that local people can be proud of. The delivery of this scheme proves how working in partnership with the local community can deliver physical, economic and social regeneration to this previously run down area.

“This transformation will bring considerable benefits through increased positive activity and well-being across all age groups making this a safer, more welcoming area.”

 

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