The Glen Community Complex in the Lenadoon /Suffolk area, received £620,000 funding from the Department for Social Development. Owned by Apex Housing Association, it also received funding by the EU’s PEACE III Programme and Atlantic Philanthropies.
The complex will house much needed community support services which includes crèche facilities, an after school club, healthy living programmes, education and training, family support, counselling and youth services.
Speaking at the official opening Minister Storey congratulated Apex and all involved with the project. He said: “This development is a major boost for local community groups and for local residents. This magnificent facility will allow essential child care, youth and educational services to be safeguarded and to grow.”
The support services will be provided by Glen Community Parent Youth Group, Lenadoon Community Forum, Lenadoon Women’s Group and the Suffolk Lenadoon Interface Group. The building includes a large multi-functional hall which can be used for sports, drama, and concerts. The building also includes a number of well- equipped meeting rooms. Emerald Boxing Club has also taken space in a unit adjacent to the complex.
Acknowledging the contribution of the community groups involved in the development the Minister added: “The Northern Ireland Executive’s agenda for addressing disadvantage recognises the need to build connected, cohesive and engaged communities. This investment will go a long way to achieve that aim here in West Belfast and is a vote of confidence in this community.”
Martin Doherty, Chairman of Apex said: “We are delighted to have played our part in the delivery of this impressive building. This hugely important project will serve the Lenadoon and Suffolk communities well for many years to come providing shared space to support the delivery of community priorities.”
He congratulated all the partners and stakeholders involved in the project including the funders, the design team, the contractor and the service providers on their magnificent achievement.
Welcoming the new complex, Lorraine McCourt, Director with the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB), responsible for the management of the EU’s PEACE III Programme, said: “This new EU funded facility will create a truly shared space for local people, on a cross-community basis. It will also create a long-term and sustainable platform for the many different peace and reconciliation activities taking place in the local area.
“I sincerely congratulate all of those involved in its development and look forward to hearing more about how it will enhance community service provision within the Lenadoon and Suffolk estates in the future.”
Notes to editors:
- The construction of this community resource centre on the site of the former Colin Glen Bacon Factory at Suffolk Road commenced in December 2012 and was completed in April 2014. Funding for the project was provided to Apex Housing Association by the EU’s PEACE III Programme (£4million) and Atlantic Philanthropies (£500,000).
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