Regional park works to begin
Work is due to start next week on expanding Ballincollig Regional Park which will see it linked 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 one kilometre riverside walk and cycleway.
Works will include installing 700 meters of 2-3.5m wide combined walking and cycling route, approximately 70m of 2m wide gravel pedestrian path, 1.2m high timber post and rail fencing, seating, bins, signage and associated works. This route will connect the existing Regional Park to a proposed new privately-developed public amenity park to the east at Fionn Laoi.
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 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. 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 will ensure that the Regional Park continues to provide for the community of Ballincollig and the wider area long into the future.”
It is anticipated that the work, which will be carried out by Sole Sports and Leisure Ltd, will start on 20 May and be completed in July. The park will be transferred to Cork City Council on 1 June for future maintenance, when the city boundary expands to take in Ballincollig.