A new multi-purpose community facility “The Welcome House” has opened in Lisburn following the complete redesign and refurbishment of a derelict building at 28-30 Bridge Street.
The project, which has been promoted and delivered by The Resurgam Community Development Trust, includes a Good Relations Hub working with the BME and indigenous community and five apartments. The apartments will provide assisted accommodation for homeless young people.
Alongside creating this vital new resource The Resurgam Community Development Trust also see the space as a catalyst to the revitalisation of this part of Lisburn City creating new opportunities to develop better connections within and between the wider community.
The project was supported by a range of funders including The National Lottery Community Fund under the Space and Place programme with a grant of over £350,000, the EU’s PEACE IV Programme through the Lisburn Castlereagh PEACE IV Partnership, Ulster Garden Villages, Northern Ireland Housing Executive, The Clothworkers Foundation and The Resurgam Trust Community Development Trust.
Philip Dean, Chair of The Resurgam Community Development Trust, said: “The Resurgam Community Development Trust are delighted that we are opening this Welcome House which will be a multi-purpose Good Relations hub working with indigenous and BME communities. From the initial concept one of the main aims of the hub was to connect the community, voluntary, statutory and business sectors within Lisburn City. The Welcome House will encompass five apartments which will provide assisted accommodation for those in housing need and who can avail of the activities and volunteering opportunities within the Welcome House.”
Michael Hughes, Space & Place Programme Co-ordinator, said: “This much needed facility will benefit residents of Lisburn City and beyond. Linking the BME community with wider Resurgam services and advice will allow better connections to be made in a safe and supportive space. The well-appointed apartments are a clear example of how the group responded to the needs identified within their extensive consultation to support their application to the Space & Place Programme.
“The Space & Place Programme aims to help communities transform underused, neglected or difficult spaces and this project is yet another example of how built heritage can with imagination and financial investment develop new spaces for the benefit of future generations.”
Councillor Jonathan Craig, Chairman of the Lisburn Castlereagh PEACE IV Partnership welcomed the project saying “We are delighted to have been able to support this project through the European Union’s PEACE IV Programme. The community units will serve as a new shared space which will provide a more functional, inclusive and welcoming place for those from our own and other traditions.
Julie Harrison, The National Lottery Community Fund Chair, said: “We believe this wonderful new facility, 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.”