The community of Loughmacrory in County Tyrone is set to benefit from the opening of an extension and improvements to their local community centre and the development of a new riverside walkway.
The project, which has been promoted and delivered by Loughmacrory Community Development Association, includes a ground floor gym designed to benefit in particular older and less abled people, a first floor multi-purpose studio and the construction of a 300m lighted riverside board walk, connecting more dated community infrastructure to the new more recently constructed community infrastructure within the village
The project was supported by a range of funders including The National Lottery Community Fund, who provided a grant of £350,000, Fermanagh and Omagh District Council through the EU’s PEACE IV Programme, managed by the SEUPB and a sizeable contribution from Association.
Sean Curran from Loughmacrory Community Development Association said ‘Our whole community are delighted and eagerly await the opening of the extended Loughview Centre and walkway. All our local clubs and groups came together on this project and agreed that improving our mental and physical health was a priority and that it should be available and promoted to all ages and abilities.
“The success of our lough trail has been an eye opener and people from all over the country come to enjoy a relaxing scenic walk or run a few laps. The extended walkway now connects the older community centre and primary school with our new gym and multi-sports facility. The Loughview Centre has been extended towards the lough and a glass frontage allows patrons to enjoy an uplifting view as they work out.
“The gym has been designed to welcome people that are less able or feel intimidated by normal commercial gyms and the new equipment has been selected to suit people of all abilities. This project has provided a very unique facility that we want to share with everyone and we are very grateful for the vision and support from our funders.”
Michael Hughes Space & Place Programme Co-ordinator said: “This is another example of the Space & Place Programme has assisted a community to transform underused, neglected or difficult spaces. A highlight of the new facility is the inclusion of dedicated fitness space for older people and people with a disability - this will make a significant difference to both their physical and mental health. The group is to be commended for ensuring that the project reflects the feedback from the community through the extensive consultation they undertook as part of the application process.”
Welcoming the new EU PEACE IV funded facilities Gina McIntyre, CEO of the Special EU Programmes Body said:
“Unfortunately we still live in a segregated society in which many people have very little opportunity to learn, and interact with, someone from a different background. The new shared space, created through the riverside walkway and community centre, will encourage people from different communities, religion and culture to come together and establish meaningful relationships. It will also help less able individuals, older and younger citizens to take a more active role in the world around them.”
Julie Harrison, The National Lottery Community Fund Northern Ireland 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.”