New Castlewellan Community Centre Opens
The new Castlewellan Community Centre was officially opened on Friday 24 January 2020 by Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Deputy Chairperson, Terry Andrews, on behalf of the Chairperson, Charlie Casey, and Dr Mark Browne from the Executive Office. The Community Centre was delivered by Newry, Mourne and Down District Council with funding from the Social Investment Fund (SIF).
Investment of around £800,000 was provided by SIF for the refurbishment and extension of the existing community centre to create two halls, a full time creche room and office and toilet facilities. This new, modern centre will enable a wide range of community services to be delivered to meet the needs and expectations of everyone in the Castlewellan community and surrounding area, and most importantly, will contribute to improvements in employability skills and health and wellbeing.
The event was attended by a large number of stakeholders including Newry, Mourne and Down District Council, The Mournes and Slieve Croob councillors, representatives from the Social Investment Fund team and community representatives.
Terry Andrews, Newry Mourne and Down Council Deputy Chairperson said: “One of the Council’s key aims is to provide high quality community facilities and to explore partnership opportunities to ensure sustainability of community services. It also aims to build community capacity to empower local people to effect change within their communities; this beautiful state of the art building is an excellent example of partnership working between statutory and voluntary groups.”
Dr Mark Browne, Director of Strategic Policy, Equality and Good Relations for the Executive Office, said: ”SIF funding of around £800,000 was allocated to this facility to allow for the renovation and regeneration of this dilapidated school building. You can see how this wonderful new upgrade and all these activities that are available will greatly improve the lives of those in the local community and surrounding areas, and this fits firmly within the vision of the Social Investment Fund (SIF), which was established to deliver social change – to make life better for people by reducing poverty and unemployment and addressing physical dereliction.”
Felix Blaney, Chairperson of Castlewellan Community Partnership, commented: “This is the beginning of a new era for the community of Castlewellan. We now have excellent facilities on our doorstep that will be a benefit to all. It was challenging bringing this project to a close and although I speak to you today as the chair of Castlewellan Community Partnership, I must pay tribute to all the volunteers of the Partnership who devoted a lot of time and effort to help bring this exciting project to a close and to the Executive Office for providing the funding and the Council for managing the project through the construction.”