Edenvilla Park to be revamped as part of exciting masterplan

Ronnie Harkness at Edenvilla Park.

Ronnie Harkness at Edenvilla Park.

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The consultants who prepared the £6m master plan for Portadown People’s Park have been appointed to revamp Edenvilla at Bachelor’s Walk.

A consultancy sum of £15,000 has been agreed for NWA Partners (Hertfordshire) and Venture International (Dungannon) to come up with an improvement plan which will follow the same principles as the People’s Park scheme – to improve the recreation-sporting ethos of the town, and become a shared space.

The Portadown Times has viewed a confidential paper which states that the consultants must come up with a plan to connect Edenvilla with the rest of the town – as in the main park – and that several elements in the improvements must be included.

These include whatever sporting-recreational facilities should be added to the all-weather, hockey-soccer complex (administered by Portadown Hockey Club), the tennis courts (administered by Portadown Tennis Club), the recently improved children’s playground and the popular secret garden, both provided by the council.

The scheme will also see improved cycling paths, walkways and lighting, arts and landscaping and nature reserves.

Councillor Ronnie Harkness is a director of Edenvilla Limited, and – when contacted by the Times – said, “They are exciting plans and it is significant that the People’s Park team is in charge. Great efforts are being made to make all the recreation areas in Portadown shared space, and it’s up to everyone to work hard at that.

“The existing facilities at Edenvilla are widely used, and the recent work on the children’s play area transformed that facility. I was chairman of the all-weather pitch group and I would love to see another one, but maybe that’s too much to hope for.”

The Edenvilla consultants were appointed by Craigavon Borough Council, and the project will be taken up by the new ABC Council after April 1. Meanwhile, town centre banners are being provided in the summer to point the way to the People’s Park, as a ‘Be Part of the Park’ initiative. The £6m project will be completed by August 31, two months behind schedule.

Mayor Colin McCusker said, “Edenvilla reflects a fitting end to the life of Craigavon Borough Council and is one of a number of projects being carried forward. We are working relentlessly to have the People’s Park a shared space and the ordinary people of Portadown must reclaim it for everyone – with the co-operation of the residents in the vicinity of the park.”