BALLYCASTLE has been chosen to pilot the new ‘Healthy Places’ programme by the Department for Health.

This means that the town will blaze a trail in making life better for the community in which we live.

The announcement was welcomed by Ballycastle Sinn Féin Councillor, Cara McShane, who said this is ‘fantastic news’ for the area.

Cllr McShane said: “The Healthy Places programme explores how we can develop cities and towns as healthy, people focused environments that lead to improved health outcomes.

“Working with local communities, the programme will help create an environment that promotes health and healthy choices. In a multi-agency and departmental approach, Healthy Places aims to tackle health inequalities.

“This is fantastic news for Ballycastle, selected as one of a small number of demonstrator areas to be part of the Healthy Places programme. Where we live (and the homes we live in) has a big impact on our health and wellbeing.

“Council now have authority to create community planning and they have the power of wellbeing and Ballycastle can now be a great example for the rest of the Borough.

“This pilot scheme will involve all Government departments working together and this will provide a great opportunity at this time of advanced stages of developing our outdoor and indoor leisure provisions within Ballycastle.

“We, as part of a wider multi-agency programme, are playing our part helping to promote healthy lifestyle in the area.

“We all know physical and mental health go hand-in-hand and by taking part in this pilot we creating a healthy community in both mind and body which in turn will help create a healthy environment which will bring more families to the area.

“We already know that Ballycastle is identified as a healthy place due to the growing number of people who retire to the town. This can only be advanced!

Cllr McShane concluded: “We look forward to working with all agencies and the community to embed health and wellbeing into development plans for our area and to help maximise people’s life chances and opportunities within our area.”

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