SDLP Assembly Member for Newry and Armagh Justin McNulty has said that Stormont must bring forward a strategy for the development of Public Parks in our large towns and cities.
Mr McNulty has reiterated his support for a City Park in Newry and has said Stormont should help make it a reality, including providing financial support.
Mr McNulty said: ‘The benefits from the development of Public Parks are multiple, in terms of local recreational value to the tourism potential and indeed the health and well being benefits. All over the world authorities have developed or protected green space in the heart of cities and towns. I believe such a development in Newry would be fantastic for everyone.
“If you look at the crowds of people who use the Mall in Armagh City whether to walk around or in the summer months, young people of all ages and creeds are playing all ranges of sport on it. Or indeed in recent years the Council in Armagh have pushed ahead with opening up the Palace Grounds as a Public Park. It has beautiful walkways, a fantastic play facility and an amazing restaurant. There is a very popular Park Run group who use the facility every week. This is what we need in Newry. Imagine another facility of the calibre of the Slieve Gullion Play Area Facility in the heart of Newry and the positive impact that would have on our city!
“I don’t believe this is something that should be left to local councils alone. It is something that Stormont should encourage and indeed help finance. I want to see the Executive develop and publish a strategy which would encourage the development of Public Parks. It’s a no-brainer and it’s something that should receive cross party support.”