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Community centre officially opens after huge £295,000 investment

Drumalane Quayside Close Community Centre was officially opened earlier this week.

This new centre in Newry represents a total investment of £295,000, which was funded by both the Department of Communities’ Neighbourhood Renewal Programme and the Council.

It is based on the Fathom Line and built on a site adjacent to Quayside Close Sports pitches at the Albert Basin.

The completion of this six month project provides much needed sports changing facilities for the adjacent playing fields and will allow the local volunteers to create a new community hub from which they can deliver programmes and activities for local people.

Speaking at the launch Councillor Roisin Mulgrew, Council Chair, said: “This facility will instil a new sense of hope and empower the Community Association to affect positive change. The Centre will bring great benefits to the area and provide a hub that can build a more cohesive community.”

John Ball, from the Department for Communities, added: “We see this investment by our Department and the Council as a commitment to tackle deprivation in our most deprived areas, creating new opportunities for local people to improve their life chances.

“The new Centre will provide a base from which further initiatives through education, employability, health and recreation can be delivered to meet the needs of all members of the community.”

Chairperson of Drumalane Quayside Close Community Association, Mr Gerard Hutchinson added: “My sincere thanks go to both the Council and the Department for Communities for their support in helping to deliver this project. The Centre will breathe new life into our community and we are thankful to everyone who made it possible.

“It took a long time to get to here but I am proud to be part of such a great team that was determined to see a community centre for our local area. Now what we have is a safe and purpose built facility that will belong to the
whole community.”

Geraldine Merendino, Chairperson of the Neighbourhood Renewal Partnership (NRP) congratulated the Community Association on their achievement.

“I wish to pay tribute to the NRP members who have long supported this project and offer my thanks to the Department for Communities for their continued support for this and the other Neighbourhood Renewal projects,” said Mrs Merendino.

She added: “I want to also thank Newry, Mourne and Down District Council especially the officers within the Active and Healthy Communities Department for giving their full support.”

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