Council investing in community centre provision across the City and District
14 September 2018
Members of Derry City and Strabane District Council’s Health and Communities Committee were provided with an update on the planned investment in community centre provision across the Council area.
The investment is a key strand of the Council’s overall agreed ambitious capital plan that forms part of the Council’s Strategic Inclusive Growth Plan to invest in new and refurbished community centre development across the Council area. The projects being taken forward in this phase were identified in a review of community centre provision.
Among the projects currently included in the capital plan that updates were provided on are - Top of the Hill, Lincoln Courts, Shantallow, Galliagh, Culmore, Brandywell/ Daisyfields and Ballymagroarty /Hazelbank (BHCP). Funding for these projects has been allocated by Council with additional external funding required to be made available from the Department for Communities subject to the approval of appropriate business cases and confirmation of Central Government Departmental funding.
Members were informed at the meeting that the plans outlined at the meeting is one of a number of strands of the overall capital investment plan for community facilities across the Council area and including rural areas.
Karen McFarland Director of Health and Communities with the Council added that a number of community facilities at Victoria Bridge, Plumbridge and Glebe are complete and ongoing work is progressing at Springhill and Strathfoyle to further develop localised provision. She said that it is anticipated that Rural Development programme will also identify and support community hubs through the RDP programme.
Chairman of the Health and Communities Committee, Cllr Ruairi McHugh welcoming the update said the investment was significant and representing Council’s ongoing commitment to invest in local communities. He said: “Community centres are vital to empowering communities to work together to provide a much needed space for communities to meet and deliver activities and programmes. This investment in the community centre sector will provide people in communities across the Council area with an opportunity to work and organise together and to avail of new services that will benefit their community through adult education, social activities, cultural events and sporting activities.”
Karen McFarland, Director of Health and Communities with Derry City and Strabane District Council explained to members that based on an assessment of readiness the Department for Communities has committed funding towards Lincoln Courts and is currently assessing businesses cases in respect of Top of the Hill, Shantallow and Galliagh.
She said Council will continue to review the input from the Department for Communities and other funding sources will be explored as the projects reach the appropriate state of readiness such as design scheme development and business case completion.
Cllr Ruairi McHugh concluded: “Council’s investment across the District will be significant with a raft of leisure, play and greenway developments planned for delivery alongside its ambitious capital programme. The investment in the community centres in Derry, Strabane and rural areas is just one strand of that plan and is part of our ongoing commitment to help with neighbourhood renewal and to encourage communities to unite and work together and have civic pride in where they come from. The Health and Communities Committee were pleased to get an update on the work that is currently being advanced and is pleased that Council is delivering on its objectives set out in the Strategic Growth Plan to provide quality facilities and services and to work with communities to ensure the community and voluntary sector is more resilient and sustainable.