Health and wellbeing

Funding level: £10,001 to £25,000


The community of Saintfield has been striving for ten years to get a community centre. It is one of the biggest settlements in NI which does not have one. Our local Council (Newry, Mourne and Down) has purchased a site and committed £1.5m in its capital programme for this financial year. The budget will cover refurbishing the basic buildings but not any extras.

There is room on the site for a developmental adventure playground, but no money available in the Council budget to provide one. However the Council support the proposal of such a playground, have agreed to the proposed location in a prominent place in front of the entrance to the community centre and added this to the planning application for the whole site. As planning permission is due before the end of December 2017, should this application be approved by Aviva, it could be implemented without delay.

The Coordinating Committee of Saintfield Development Association would like to provide this playground on the community centre site. SDA's current reserves are £16,000 and the Committee has approved allocating £5,000 of these reserves towards a high quality adventure playground. The project is to request Aviva to fund £25,000 specifically for the playground.
The planned location for the adventure playground is outside large windows in the meeting space of the new community centre. Saintfield has 3,800 residents and a total of 12,000 people live within 4 miles of Saintfield. The business case for the community centre anticipates a high turnover of people through the site on a weekly basis, including many families with young children. It is anticipated that 3,000 people would use the site and therefore see the adventure playground on a regular basis.

The demographic analysis of the Saintfield area shows that it is not classified as a deprived ward. Most grants available from government departments are awarded taking deprivation into account and Saintfield has been unsuccessful in previous grant applications on this basis. However, all communities, including those not regarded as deprived, can not afford significant capital expenditure on their own. They require assistance from other sources to realise ambitions to better the local community. If SDA were successful in this application they would be very grateful indeed and would want Aviva to be recognised for its generosity.

The Coordinating Committee and Finance and Funding Committee of Saintfield Development Association has approved the contribution of £5,000 from SDA funds towards this project, should the application to Aviva be successful . This would be one third of SDA's current reserves, demonstrating a commitment from SDA members towards the project.

SDA's main purpose is developing the community capacity and civic pride in the settlement and surrounding area. The provision of a community centre in 2018 will be a focal point for community and sporting activities. SDA believes that community development goes hand in hand with youth development. The provision of a good, developmental, adventure playground, in a prominent position, visible from the main Belfast to Downpatrick Road, would encourage children and their parents to visit the centre and, hopefully, engage with the the activities for youth that will be provided on the site. These will include the youth training activities for both Saintfield United Football Club and St Mochai's GAA Club, both of whom will be basing their training on the 30m by 60m indoor 3-G artificial grass surface on the site.

The attached photographs show previous community activities organised by SDA, infrastructure improvements and floral displays implemented by SDA, the sort of adventure playground we would like to have and a view of the building that will be converted to the community centre. The walls of this building will be converted to large windows down to floor level, looking out on the planned site for the playground.

Saintfield Development Association

Moment of Pride

SDA's motto is "Saintfield People Working for Saintfield People". There are 60 members, all of whom contribute on a purely voluntary basis. We would be very proud to see a high quality developmental playground provided for children up to ten years old to attract families to the centre.

Location: Saintfield