A £5.2M Peace IV project which will quite literally connect Pomeroy through the creation of shared community spaces and a programme of engagement has been launched.
More than 100 people came together to hear about the three core elements which form the focus of the project, which will enhance the look and feel of the centre of the village, create a suite of new community facilities, and boost outdoor and visitor opportunities through the development of a ‘magic forest’.
A total of £2m has been allocated to the scheme to develop a visitor centre and enchanted trail in Pomeroy Forest, while also creating opportunities for shared learning experiences with school, youth and community groups.
New £1m community facilities will open up shared spaces for local people to enjoy, including a new Church of Ireland Hall, a 3-G multi-use games area at the Presbyterian Church Hall and a new gym at the Pomeroy Plunkett’s GAC.
Pomeroy will also benefit from a public realm upgrade, enhancing footpaths, lighting and planting and helping to connect the top and bottom of the village, which have previously been considered to be divided by ‘invisible’ peace walls.
The £1m investment in this element of the project will also establish physical linkages between each of the new facilities.
Supporting the capital investment is a three year engagement programme to generate contact across the community, particularly among children and young people, encouraging respect and understanding, and leading to the formation of sustained friendships.
Chair of Mid Ulster Council, Councillor Martin Kearney, called the launch of the project “a milestone in and of itself”.
He said: “The level of planning and engagement to secure such substantial investment for Pomeroy and to ensure such a complex scheme can be delivered has been significant and has taken place over several years.
“The local community is at the heart of the drive to connect Pomeroy and a strong partnership has been formed.
“The commitment which has been required to develop that partnership cannot be underestimated. It has at times taken no small degree of courage, a willingness to compromise and to understand an alternative view.”