A new community green space has been officially opened by Irish Street Community and Youth Association who used funding of over £187,000 from the Big Lottery Fund’s Space & Place Programme to transform a derelict and inaccessible piece of land in their local community.
The space which is located beside the Association’s premises also sits within a housing development in Irish Street and has been enhanced with a new community ‘growing space,’ seating area and improved lighting of the site. An accessible pathway also links the new space with the community centre and a new play park, providing vital new facilities for local residents to enjoy.
The new space will also play host to a range of activities and events which are intended to revitalise community life and connections in the area.
Claire Russell from Irish Street Community and Youth Association said: "We are absolutely delighted that our new green space has been officially opened. This much needed investment has completely transformed what was a derelict, disused site, into an area which every member of our community can enjoy.
“A bonfire management committee has also been created by the community, to help ensure that the space is available for year round community use, whilst still accommodating the annual Irish Street bonfire.”
Claire added: “We have already run various events and activities on the new space and we hope that this will continue, long into the future. We would like to thank Big Lottery Fund’s Space & Place Programme for this opportunity and for their continued support."
Michael Hughes Space & Place Co-ordinator said: “The Space & Place Programme exists thanks to National Lottery players and we are delighted that funding from the programme means that the local community now has a facility which will help people connect more easily with each other in what was formerly a difficult and unused space.
“We wish the community well with their new facility and would like to congratulate Irish Street Community and Youth Association on their achievement, and in having a vision for the re-imaging of the local area which we have been able to help them bring to life,” said Michael.
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.”