The Leisure and Development Committee of the Causeway Coast and Glens Council voted has in favour of the Mayor, councillor Michelle Knight-McQuillan’s proposal to maintain the £9,000 funding of the GADDA Centre in Garvagh which it currently receives for 2016/17.
It had been recommended by Julie Walsh, Council’s Head of Community and Culture that the funding award to the Garvagh Development Trust be reduced to £6,300.
The matter was discussed by councillor’s during last Tuesday night’s meeting in Cloonavin.
Making the case for GADDA to keep its current level of funding, councillor Michelle Knight-McQuillan said: “This building is very important to the Garvagh Community.
“It is a facility which offers a range of activities for all ages and abilities and around 54 different organisations make use of this building.
The Mayor went on to say: “If this building isn’t saved 25 jobs could be lost and it is the only shared space that is used by everyone in the community.
“If the grant recommendation is approved, the group would struggle to remain open and the entire community would suffer.
“It is accessible to everyone, it is on the main street and folk from the Fold can easily get to their classes.
“We should be looking at maintaining last year’s grant for another year and I propose we maintain it at £9,000 this year and look forward to finding something more sustainable.”
UUP Councillor Richard Holmes agreed that the £9,000 grant should be maintain and seconded the mayor’s motion.
“£9,000 would seem like a very good deal. In terms of takings, this facility is bringing in £40,000.
“We need a proper review of community centres, why should be penalise a centre which is producing good returns.”
The Garvagh building has become a community hub and is used by a number of local groups and organisations for meetings and events.