Dervock seize a clean window of opportunity

Several derelict residential properties within the centre of Dervock have received a much need makeover, with a fresh coat of paint, window inserts and colourful doors, transforming what was a dull and uninviting area.

The work, completed by local contractor Armoy Construction Company Limited, in record time, certainly helped create a warm and welcoming atmosphere for the recent K.K. McArthur Festival of Running which attracted over 3,000 people and 600 competitors to the village.

Both the streetscape and festival projects were conceived as part of the village renewal strategy produced in June 2011 following a community wide consultation event. With part funding secured from a range of sources including: the North East Region Rural Development Programme (R.D.P.); Ballymoney Borough Council; Dervock & District Community Association Ltd; and local community group Dervock & District Community Association (D.D.C.A.), the local community group along with support from Supporting Communities N.I. Liaison Officer Deirdre McCloskey, have secured potential R.D.P. funding of £62,500 to implement such projects which will have a long term impact on the sustainability of the village, for residents and visitors alike.

Chair of D.D.C.A., Frankie Cunningham, expressed his delight at the success of the two projects which have been delivered to date, indicating that “the response from local residents and visitors to the village has been hugely positive”. David McKeown and Frank McLernon also wished to note that such success has been largely due to the support of numerous volunteers within the village, and that such support is required in order for more positive change to occur.

They also went on to note that “the adverse publicity a few weeks ago highlighted the negative impact that unwarranted actions within the village and surrounding environs are producing – literally damaging the social fabric of the community; therefore collapsing any potential economic regeneration of the village. It is imperative that the village residents get behind these Community Association initiatives in order to counter those negative influences. Not to do so will merely undo all the good achieved with the visit of the Olympic Torch and the huge and deserved acclaim generated by the Festival of Running. Indeed for such a small community to undertake two relatively large projects and convert them into such successes with NO words of criticism is worthy of huge praise to all involved.”

Preparations for future R.D.P. funded projects are ongoing with Ballymoney Borough Council. Commenting on the Dervock festival & Streetscape Project, Development Chair, Councillor Bill Kennedy, said: “The collaborative efforts of the local community association, volunteers from the village, the Springwell Running Club, Supporting Communities N.I., and various council departments, delivered a very successful festival of sport and culture, which, in this Olympic year, celebrated the magnificent achievement, over a decade ago, of the former postman from Dervock. All involved can be proud of their efforts. I also want to acknowledge the funding from the Community Association and the Rural Development Programme, which Council was pleased to match.”

Please take the time to shape the future of the village by joining D.D.C.A. in their efforts. Please contact Frankie Cunningham at Dervock Community House, 13 Travers Place, Dervock on 028 2074 2568 or via email: dervock.ni@btconnect.com