A new Community Centre which is set to breathe new life into the Kilcoo area has been officially opened by Eoghain Rua Kilcoo GAC.
The facility which cost over £600,000 to build sees the Club’s realisation of a long-held dream of providing a state of the art Community Centre for the people of Kilcoo and the surrounding area.
The project was made possible through the hard work and determination of Kilcoo GAC which had a long held ambition of giving back to the local community. They received funding support of over £350,000 for the Centre from the Big Lottery Fund’s Space & Place Programme thanks to National Lottery players.
The project also received support from Newry, Mourne and Down District Council, and UCIT, with the balance of funding provided by Kilcoo GAC.
Hosting a number of rooms and a large indoor gym space, as well as kitchen and toilet facilities, the new Centre is intended to be a shared space for the community and will enable a range of activities to take place including health and fitness programmes, courses and training, as well as events such as birthday parties or corporate meetings.
There is also potential for the Centre to be used by a range of local groups such as Mothers and Toddlers, with significant interest already being expressed by people in the area wishing to use the space.
Speaking at the launch of the new Community Centre, Terry O’Hanlon Chair of the Club said:“It’s a warm welcome and celebration to bring to the entire and surrounding Community and esteemed guests our new Community Centre, filled with the desires, hopes, needs and dreams we all share.
“The new Community Centre will provide a social community hub that will help improve the health and well-being for the whole locality regardless of age, ability and beliefs through the new facilities and services. This new Centre marks a milestone in Kilcoo and the surrounding area and I hope that it will serve the needs of all of the people of Kilcoo and beyond.
“On behalf of the entire Kilcoo community I would like to thank the Big Lottery Fund, the Community Foundation for Northern Ireland, Newry Mourne and Down District Council and the Ulster Community Investment Trust for enabling us to create this fantastic new facility. It truly will bring tremendous benefits to our community,” said Terry.
The Big Lottery Fund’s Space & Place Programme is delivered by a consortium headed up by the Community Foundation for Northern Ireland.
Michael Hughes Co-ordinator of the Space & Place Programme said: “The Space & Place Consortium is thrilled with the amazing space which has been created for the local community by Kilcoo GAC.
“This is a state of the art facility which has been constructed on derelict ground following a great deal of initiative by the club and a desire to provide an essential space which can be shared by everyone in the area. It is a really vital investment in community life, and one which we hope will create greater community connections and help address social isolation in the area; key aims of the Space & Place Programme.”
Julie Harrison, Big Lottery Fund NI Chair, said: “We believe this wonderful new space, which has been made possible thanks to the generosity of National Lottery players, will make a real difference to the lives of many local people by providing a space for them to come together and improve the area that they live in.”