SOCIAL Development Minister Alex Attwood officially opened a new £1.8million community centre in Coleraine last Wednesday.
The Coleraine West Community Centre will provide a wide range of social and recreational facilities for the local community including a purpose-built boxing gym, indoor and outdoor football and changing facilities and childcare facilities.The Department for Social Development, through the Neighbourhood Renewal Investment Fund, and Coleraine Borough Council have each provided over £900,000 to the project.
Mr Attwood told The Coleraine Times: “The opening of the Coleraine West Community Centre is good news for local people. This new community centre is an example of statutory bodies working together to meet the specific needs of people living in Neighbourhood Renewal areas.
“The centre will offer opportunities to take part in sport and social activities that were not available to the local community before. But more than that, it offers a shared space for people from every part of the community to enjoy these activities together. I have no doubt that this centre will make a significant contribution to improving the daily lives of people of the Churchlands area and beyond.
“I have made it clear that Neighbourhood Renewal funding will be protected over the next four years, indeed I will try to enhance funding. Protecting areas and people in need going forward must not be compromised.”
The Mayor of Coleraine, Councillor Norman Hillis, said: “Council is delighted with the finished centre and I would like to thank the Department for Social Development for its support, and in particular for funding fifty percent of the construction costs through its Neighbourhood Renewal programme.
“The project has been ongoing for a number of years through partnership groups and council officers. Obviously, this has been time well spent as it has now ensured a state of the art new centre that will facilitate a variety of community based activities. Our local infrastructure is greatly strengthened with such a modern asset that our ratepayers so richly deserve.”