Sunday 16 June 2019

Works set to start on regional park

Maria Herlihy

Last week marked the final contract signing by Cork County Council for improvement works to Ballincollig Regional Park.

Works on the project, carried out by Sole Sports & Leisure Ltd., will link the Regional Park to the 20 acre amenity lands at Fionn Laoi. The development will open a section of the park behind the former heritage centre to the public and create a 1km riverside walk and cycleway.

It is anticipated that the work will start on the 20th of May and be completed in July. This is one of the final projects to be completed by Cork County Council in the park since its acquisition in 1977.

Some of the major projects since then have included the installation of Cork County's first Skate Park, the development of footpaths to connect different points in the park and improve accessibility and the establishment of the Ballincollig Regional Park development plan in 2012. The development plan has seen €1.4m spent on facilities such as the playground, multi-use games areas, allotments, trails, and landscaping. 

Usage of the park, which had formerly been a gunpowder mills, has exploded in recent years, with over 660,000 visitors for 2018. In addition to the walkway project, Cork County Council will be planting hundreds of additional trees and developing wildflower meadows and picnic areas.

Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr. Patrick Gerard Murphy said: "Ballincollig Regional Park is one of the great success stories of County Cork. It has been far more than an amenity for the people of Ballincollig - it has been a platform for community development," said the county mayor.

"The work carried out and the initiatives taken, particularly in the past 11 years, is a great testament to the community spirit and drive of Ballincollig. The Regional Park has seen community groups working alongside Cork County Council to deliver an incredible facility. This latest stage of development, and the last that Cork County Council will be involved in, will ensure that the Regional Park continues to provide for the community of Ballincollig and the wider area long into the future."