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  • Writer's pictureMichelle Weir (Local Democracy Reporter)

Permission granted for new junior parkrun at Antrim Castle Gardens

Ornate Gardens at Antrim Castle Gardens

Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council’s Operations Committee has given permission for a new junior Parkrun at Antrim Castle Gardens to be held on Sunday mornings.

Parkruns already take place in the borough at Valley Park, Newtownabbey, Six Mile Water Park, Ballyclare and Antrim Loughshore Park. A junior Parkrun takes place at Ulster University, Jordanstown.

Council officers have met with Athletics Northern Ireland, Parkrun, local sports clubs, and community representatives in the Antrim area to take the initiative forward.

The event will be a free, weekly timed two kilometre walk or run for four to 14 year olds. Councillors also approved start-up funding of £4,000 to assist with equipment and marketing costs.

At the same meeting at Antrim Civic Centre on Monday evening (4th September), the committee approved that Newtownabbey Rotary Club be allowed to plant a bed of crocus bulbs at Lilian Bland and Mossley Parks with the council contributing the sum of £195 to the cost.

The purple crocus is a symbol used in Rotary’s worldwide campaign to raise awareness of the need to eradicate polio. The planting will be carried out by the council’s parks team.

The committee was also given an update on the number of visitors to the borough’s leisure centres. Councillors heard that 2.5m people visited these facilities in Antrim and Newtownabbey during 2022/23.

The local authority’s target for the current financial year is 2.6m visitors.

The committee was also told 459,877 visitors came to Antrim and Newtownabbey’s leisure centres during the first three months of this financial year. Uptake of leisure membership in the borough was 12,564 in 2022/23.


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