Rural Development Partnership Helps Open New Teconnaught GAC Community Hub
Representatives from Mourne, Gullion & Lecale (MGL) Rural Development Partnership and residents of the greater Annacloy area will be able to enhance their health and wellbeing and reduce social isolation thanks to the completion of Teconnaught GFC’s new community hub at Rann Road, Downpatrick.
The new community hub consists of a social hub/café area, multi-use hall, meeting room, gym/training area and changing/shower amenities. These new facilities will provide access to a range of services previously unavailable and will enable the local community to deliver and facilitate innovative cross community services such as health workshops, ‘day centre’ activities for older people, and training for volunteers in relation to topics such as safeguarding and health and safety. The facility will also deliver a range of sports and leisure activities for all ages and abilities, and has already established a new walking club.
Grant funding from the Rural Basic Services Scheme of the Northern Ireland Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, funded by the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development, and administered by Mourne, Gullion and Lecale Rural Partnership’s Local Action Group, under the LEADER approach was provided to this project along with a significant contribution from Newry, Mourne and Down District Council.
Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Vice Chairperson, Councillor Terry Andrews officially opened the new facility in a ceremony attended by Member of the House of Lords, MPs, MLAs, Councillors, Local Action Group members, DAERA Officials and community representatives. Vice Chairperson, Councillor Andrews said, “The funding provided by the Rural Development Partnership has provided grant assistance towards this worthwhile project for the Teconnaught community. This facility will help improve many aspects of rural dwellers lives within the area, offering the opportunity to develop projects to address a wide range of social and economic issues. Overall the new facility will be a wonderful addition to local community.”
Chairperson of Mourne, Gullion and Lecale Rural Partnership’s Local Action Group, Roisin Mulgrew, said: "As Chairperson of Mourne, Gullion and Lecale Rural Development Partnership I am delighted to have awarded Teconnaught GAC £380,000 of Basic Services funding. The Local Action Group members and stakeholders have been instrumental in delivering a range of funding to local community groups with Teconnaught GAC a prime example of local need being met. The Local Action Group are pleased with the outcome of this project and how it will deliver for the future development of the rural community.”
Jerome Burns, Contract Manager, Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs said, “The Leader Programme, through which this project has been funded, enables local people to determine the needs of their own area and decide how best to address these and this is an excellent example of how the Programme is delivering on the ground. I have every confidence that Teconnaught GAC, with its extensive number of dedicated volunteers and committee members will enable this project to reach its full potential and be a resounding success for the future”.
The Community Hub will publish a schedule of new activities in early 2020.