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Derrymore and Moore Hall Regeneration Gets Underway

12 February 2019

The regeneration of Derrymore Estate, County Armagh and Moore Hall Estate, County Mayo, a partnership project initiated by Mourne, Gullion and Lecale Rural Development Partnership, is well underway, following the securing of Rural Development funding.

The investment was welcomed at an event at Derrymore House on Friday 8 February by members of Mourne, Gullion and Lecale Local Action Group (LAG); Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) officials; representatives from Newry, Mourne and Down District Council and Mayo County Council, Friends of Derrymore House, South West Mayo LEADER, and Carnacon Community Association.

The partnership project will provide for the regeneration of both Derrymore Estate and Moore Hall Estate through the Cooperation Scheme of the Rural Development Programme. The two sites are linked by historical contexts and topography which are similar in both estates.

Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Chairman, Councillor Mark Murnin said, “I am delighted to be involved with this partnership project. Not only will it provide funding to restore both Derrymore House and Moore Hall estates, it will undoubtedly contribute to the tourist potential of both these areas and enhance their cultural heritage. This project reflects the Council’ s commitment to working in partnership, ensuring that we deliver what is best for everyone in our district.”

Derrymore House is the centrepiece of the historic Derrymore Estate, near Bessbrook village, and consists of 110 acres including 43 acres of park land. Donated by John Richardson in 1952 to the National Trust, the house and demesne was a private residence until being opened to the public in 1957.

Moore Hall Estate comprises 80 acres of woodland overlooking Lough Carra, including a historic house, courtyard and walled garden. Recently been acquired by Mayo County Council, it will be developed in collaboration with the National Parks and Wildlife Service, using the funds secured through the Rural Development initiative.

The partnership project will provide for the regeneration of both Derrymore Estate and Moore Hall Estate through the Cooperation Scheme of the Rural Development Programme. The two sites are linked by historical contexts and topography which are similar in both estates.

The investment at Derrymore Estate will provide for the design and development of themed trails that will incorporate natural play features, a play area, seating and viewing areas and enhancements to the estate grounds. A Masterplan for the Moore Hall Estate is currently in progress and will include the design of a recreational park, conservation measures and restoration of the historic walled garden and avenue.

Councillor Roisin Mulgrew, Chairperson of Mourne, Gullion and Lecale Rural Development Partnership said, “Having been involved in the establishment of key partnerships from the outset alongside ‘Friends of Derrymore’ and Newry, Mourne and Down District Council, I greatly welcome the regeneration of the estate through the Cooperation Scheme of the Rural Development Programme. Funding like this is vital and I am delighted that grant aid has been secured to enhance the picturesque beauty of Derrymore Estate. I have no doubt the regeneration will attract many additional visitors and the estate will become a central recreational feature for the local community.

“It has been a pleasure fostering links between Derrymore Estate and Moore Hall Estate to encourage greater footfall between the two sites, in a cross border partnership.”

Jerome Burns, from DAERA said, “This project is another example of the contribution the Rural Development Programme is making to help improve the quality of life for rural dwellers. It creates a landmark amenity in the district of Newry, Mourne and Down which will not only contribute to the health and well-being of residents but will also promote community cohesion.”

Councillor Al McDonnell, Chairman of Mayo LAG commented, “I welcome the opportunity to collaborate on a cooperation project to develop both Moore Hall Estate in County Mayo and Derrymore House in County Armagh. I look forward to the completion of the capital works on both sites.”

Gemma Elliott, General Manager, National Trust Mid Ulster said, “We are delighted to work in partnership with the Local Action Group, Newry, Mourne and Down District Council, Mayo County Council, Friends of Derrymore House and Carnacon Community Association to offer an enhanced visitor experience at Derrymore House. As the UK’s largest conservation charity, we look after special places like Derrymore House. We are thrilled that, thanks to this project, we will be able to offer improved walking trails for all. This is of particular importance as accessibility for everyone is fundamental to everything we do.”

If you would be interested in applying under one of the schemes, please contact us on 0300 013 2233 ext 2506 (Downpatrick office) to register your interest.

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