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Hundreds Attend Rural College/Derrynoid Centre Open Day

Over 200 people attended our recent ‘Have Your Say’ event at the former Rural College Derrynoid Centre.  The Centre has been vacant for the past six years, so we have been looking at ways to bring it back into use for the benefit of the Draperstown community.  Part of this process included a ‘Have Your Say’ community consultation where we invited the local community to give their views on what they think is needed in the area and what could be provided at the former Rural College/Derrynoid Centre site.

Feedback from the consultation, which included a survey and meetings with local community and voluntary groups, was presented on the day.  There were also two focus groups where attendees were welcomed to discuss the feedback from the consultation in greater depth.

To ensure that all members of the community were given the opportunity to ‘Have Your Say’ a competition in partnership with local primary schools allowed the children to submit their suggestions on what they would like to see at the Centre.  451 children participated with the winners being presented their prizes at the ‘Have Your Say’ event.

The key themes emerging from the consultation included health and wellbeing; training courses; outdoor activities; fitness; childcare; themed trails, tourism; and leisure.  We will now progress to develop these themes in conjunction with the local community and submit a new planning application whilst at the same time work to identify potential funding opportunities.

Laurence O’Kane, Chairman, advised “The response to our community consultation has been phenomenal with more than seven hundred people completing the community survey alone. It shows that the local community are as keen to see the former Rural College/Derrynoid Centre brought back into use as we are.”