Come Walkabout in Saintfield!

7 March 2008

Saintfield has officially launched a major environmental improvement scheme - complete with a ‘Walkabout Saintfield’ guide for visitors to the historic village.

Saintfield Regeneration Committee, the Community Estates Partnership, Down District Council and an innovative cross-border tourism project have worked together to improve the environmental appearance of the village for both residents and tourists.

The scheme was financially supported through the ‘Promoting Pride in our Rural Villages’ project, one of a number of initiatives from the East Border Region Tourism Partnership, which involves 8 local Councils from Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland working together to enhance rural villages across East Border Region.

Speaking at the launch of the village enhancement scheme, Chairman of Down District Council, Councillor Eddie Rea said, “Promoting Pride in our Rural Villages recognises the role of villages as hubs of rural life. Protecting and enhancing this role by helping communities to address development issues, improve the appearance of their villages, attract more visitors and take steps to promote a sustainable and prosperous future is what this project has achieved.”

The Saintfield scheme includes five entrance features which highlight the historical importance of the village, information panels about places to visit and new summer seats and planters. The complimentary ‘Walkabout Saintfield’ guide is available from the local library and village shops.

Promoting Pride in Our Rural Villages project is funded through the EU Interreg IIIA Programme 2000 – 2006. The project is delivered by the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Northern Ireland (DARDNI) and the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs (Ireland).

Visiting the scheme, Mr. Gerard Treacy of DARDNI said, “Village enhancement schemes, like this impressive project in Saintfield, should act as a catalyst for further development. We hope that local community groups and public representatives can use the success and lessons of this project to push ahead, gain more funding and bring further improvements to this historic village.”

He added “It is hoped that the investment involved in these village schemes will provide the impetus for the type of ongoing improvement which will encourage many more visitors to stop in villages as part of a trip to the area.”

Saintfield is one of nine Down District villages participating in the ‘Promoting Pride in Our Rural Villages’ programme.

Picutured from left to right: Mrs N O'Callaghan EBR, Mr Gerard Treacy DARD, Cllr R Burgees Down District Council, Cllr P Toman Down District Council, Cllr E Rea Chairman of Down District Council and Mrs A McVeigh EBR.

For further info please contact:
Veronica Keegan, Marketing Manager Tel: 028 4461 0841
Margaret Quinn, Project Development Manager Tel: 028 4461 0855

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