Huge Boost for Playgrounds and Amenity Areas in Local Area
Writes Ciaran Dineen
A number of ‘playful’ projects are in the pipeline for the local area as Carrigaline, Passage West, Crosshaven and Ballinhassig are all set to benefit with either upgrades to existing playgrounds or amenity areas, or the provision of new spaces for children and young people to play.
The most exciting project as part of funding from Cork County Council will see the development a Multi-Use Games Area (MUGA) in Crosshaven, which is to be located near Fort Camden at a cost of €40,000.
A new outdoor gym is to be provided in Passage West, and will coincide with improvements to the existing playground in the town. Councillors were also informed at the latest meeting of the Carrigaline Municipal District (MD) meeting that later this year a public realm enhancement project is to go to tender for Passage West.
Ballinhassig is to benefit from around €100,000 of funding to be used for the provision of a new playground for the village, which as been described as a huge boost for the rural area. Alongside the new playground, a fitness trail is also to be developed in Ballinhassig, with the tendering process to commence soon.
In addition to these works, additional ASD Communication Boards are to be added to all playgrounds in the Carrigaline MD. This follows the success of the ASD Board which was provided in the Carrigaline playground last year, following a request from local councillor, Ben Dalton O’Sullivan (Ind). Cllr Dalton O’Sullivan was delighted to hear that the Council had plans to provide additional autism-friendly infrastructure in the area, with the Ballygarvan-based representative suggesting previously that Cork County Council could become the standard bearer in the country to promote ASD friendly design.
With regards to the Carrigaline playground, Cllr Seámus McGrath (FF), for not this first time this year, re-iterated his desire for the amenity to be upgraded, noting that since its initial opening, little improvements have been made leaving the facility ‘jaded’. However, Councillors were informed by Cork County Council official, Vincent Flourish, that there will be significant financial constraints on the local authority going forward in relation to spending on playgrounds as it is expected that equipment will soar in prices over the coming year.
Mr Flourish added that much of the play equipment comes from Eastern Europe and given the rise in transportation costs, and the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, inflation is likely to affect the Council’s ability to provide additional upgrades to play areas going forward.
Executive Officer, Nicola Radley, stressed that all available funding streams will be exhausted for potential further improvements or upgrades in 2023.