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Public and Private Sectors Combine to Build New Play Park for Ballyfermot
AUTHOR(S): Turlough Galvin
The Matheson Foundation, in partnership with Dublin City Council and the Irish Architecture Foundation, is to fund a project to design and build a new Play Park in Ballyfermot. The Play Park will combine a play area and skate / BMX park, delivered through a process of high quality public engagement.
The concept of a Play Park originated from discussions between the Matheson Foundation and the Irish Architecture Foundation (IAF). This aligns with the Matheson Foundation’s objectives of helping children in Ireland fulfil their potential and promoting corporate philanthropy in Ireland, and the IAF’s aims to utilise its skills and expertise to create community led design projects in the public realm.
The IAF, working with Dublin City Council, will employ a ‘People First’ process to encourage the community to engage with the development of the park. This ‘People First’ process aims to ensure a greater sense of ownership in order to meet the needs of the young people of Ballyfermot. It is hoped the consultation process will be completed by January 2015 and the construction of the Play Park will go out to tender in March 2016. The project will be fully realised by December 2016.
Commenting on the launch of this project, Turlough Galvin, Chairperson of the Matheson Foundation, said: “The development of the Play Park in Ballyfermot will give the local children a safe and stimulating environment in which to grow and play together. We are pleased to be involved in this project which brings together a unique partnership in The Matheson Foundation, the Irish Architecture Foundation and Dublin City Council. We hope this will encourage other Irish organisations to embark on similar philanthropic activities.”
Leslie Moore, City Parks Superintendent at Dublin City Council, said: “The Matheson Foundation is setting a standard for philanthropic contribution to play infrastructure which is so important for children, families and community development. Dublin City Council is delighted to be a partner in this exciting new collaboration."
Nathalie Weadick, Director of the Irish Architecture Foundation, said: “We had been looking for a project that combined the IAF’s experience in delivering high-end architecture projects in the community with The Matheson Foundation’s philanthropic remit. When Dublin City Council came on board and suggested Ballyfermot as the location everything fell into place quite quickly.”