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Ministerial pay-day for town projects

SOCIAL Development Minister Nelson McCausland has announced funding of £134,000 towards two Neighbourhood Renewal Projects in Lurgan.

The money will benefit projects at the premises of Lurgan YMCA and the North Lurgan Community Centre.

Lurgan YMCA will benefit from funding of £88,500 to provide fixtures and fittings for its new building in Carnegie Street. The grant, which has been provided from the Neighbourhood Renewal Investment Fund, will enable the group to acquire the necessary furniture, fixtures and equipment to fit out its new purpose built premises.

This will include soft seating and furnishings, office and kitchen equipment, including electrical goods. Other equipment, to support programme activity, will also be provided, including IT, climbing apparatus and a pool table.

The Minister said: “This is encouraging news for the residents of Lurgan. The Young Men’s Christian Association makes a major contribution to the Lurgan area, providing a range of services and activities for people of all ages.

“This funding will enable it to install the latest and most up to date equipment in its new premises and allow it to provide the best services to as many people as possible within the community.”

He also announced funding of £46,000 towards the construction of an educational and multi-sensory garden at an area of land adjacent to the North Lurgan Community Centre.

The work involves the provision of a range of features including: an outdoor classroom with half walls, decking, seating, and all weather play area; a playhouse with planters; a sandbox with sliding lid, storytelling chair, sensory totem poles and finger maze; an active garden, including raised planters, compost cottage, an arch bridge and rain-wheel; and various other items of play and outdoor activity equipment.

Minister McCausland added: “The North Lurgan Community Centre makes an important contribution to the local community, providing a venue for the pre-School Play Group, Parent and Toddler Group and After School Play Scheme, and also the senior citizen group.

“This project will provide a secure and stimulating environment for all users of the community centre and will facilitate the delivery of new programme activities for residents of all ages.”

Both projects were developed in conjunction with the local community, through the Lurgan Neighbourhood Renewal Partnership Board, who identified the need in its Vision Framework and Action Plan for regenerating the area.

The Minister said: “One of the key factors in successfully tackling deprivation and assisting regeneration is through a partnership approach involving the public, private and community sectors. These projects are an excellent example of how such partnership working can deliver real benefits for their local communities.”

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