A new €8.3 million multi-faceted community and recreation regeneration project, designed to enhance the twin villages of Pettigo in County Donegal and Tullyhommon in County Fermanagh has been approved.
Funded by the European Union’s PEACE III Programme, the ‘Termon project’ will encourage increased cross-community integration through the re-development of the community centre site in Pettigo, the Methodist Hall in Tullyhommon as well as the surrounding area.
Commenting on the funding announcement Pat Colgan, Chief Executive of the Special EU Programmes Body, said:
“The Termon Project exemplifies some of the core objectives of the PEACE III Programme. In creating a shared space for use by all communities it will help to consolidate peace and stability within Northern Ireland and the Border Region of Ireland.
“It’s innovative design approach, including a new riverside walkway and footbridge, will create an iconic space with intrinsic longevity that will encourage increased cross-border interaction and greater levels of cross-community engagement,” he continued.
Spearheaded by the Planning & Economic Development Directorate of Donegal County Council, in partnership with Fermanagh District Council and the Association for the Development of Pettigo and Tullyhommon (ADoPT), the Termon project has been awarded €8.3 million of EU support through the PEACE III Programme.
Commenting on the project, Mr. Francie Coyle, Director of Planning & Economic Development, Donegal County Council said:
“As lead partner of the project, the Council is delighted for the community of Pettigo and Tullyhommon on our successful bid for such a significant level of PEACE III funding. The project adopts a holistic, all-embracing and innovativeapproach to address the challenges facing this area and its community.
“The extensive redevelopment and enhancement of the physical environment and community infrastructure as proposed by this project will regenerate and transform the twin villages and promote a vibrant, active and integrated community.We look forward to the implementation of the project with the continued support and close co-operation of our project partners and the Special EU Programmes Body,” he continued.
The project will create the Termon Centre, a multi-purpose facility for drama, sport, conferences and local and regional events. It will also inlcude a new playschool, an outdoor multi-use games area, a public playground and a community garden. It is anticipated that the Centre will become the central focus of the surrounding area, providing information on its history, the local facilities on offer and all key events taking place throughout the year.
The exisiting Methodist Hall in Tullyhommon will undergo extensive refurbishment as well and will be transformed into a local youth café. Both centres will act as social hubs providing neutral shared spaces where communities within the local area can interact and enjoy all of the newly developed recreational opportunities on offer.
Speaking about the project Councillor Robert Irvine, Chairman of Fermanagh District Council said:
“Fermanagh District Council welcomes this very significant investment in the villages of Tullyhommon and Pettigo. The Council is looking forward to working with Donegal County Council and ADoPT to maximise the benefits of the Termon Project.
“This is an exciting initiative which will revitalise the villages and promote an integrated community identity. The Council would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the support of the European Union`s PEACE III Programme and the input of the Special EU Programmes Body,” he continued.
In addition, the project will also include the revitalisation of the Termon riverbank with the development of a riverside park stretching from a new village gateway at Tullyhommon to a riverfront picnic area on the Pettigo side at the site of the proposed new Termon centre. A newly constructed footbridge is proposed to span over the water and join both communities.
Commenting on the re-development Martin Eves, Chair of ADoPT said:
“The infrastructure development will act as a physical symbol for the project as it unifies both communities and will encourage increased interaction amongst both sections of our society. The project has many different facets and upon completion will help to transform the local area, creating a shared space to be enjoyed by everyone.”
The project will also serve to consolidate some of the work already carried out by ADoPT through its ‘Community in Action Plan’ which promotes the peace building process through the delivery of a wide range of activities and actions targeted at building the capacity of various groups such as young people, senior citizens, marginalized and minority groups.
ADoPT’s ‘Community In Action Plan’ is an integral part of the project as it will ensure the active participation and usage of the new facilities by the whole community.
Offering improvements to the urban environment of the village centres to include footpath renewal, undergrounding of services, decorative street lighting, street furniture and the implementation of a heritage town painting scheme the project is representative of a truly holistic approach to regeneration.