A new community facility has opened in Strabane as a local group completes renovation work on a specially purchased house and land thanks to support from National Lottery players.
Strabane Community Project received £317,000 in funding from the Big Lottery’s Space & Place Programme. This enabled the group to undertake two projects which have seen the transformation of a former house into a new Community Hub, creating a permanent meeting space for the community, alongside the creation of a Community Garden which will allow local people and primary school children to grow their own flowers, fruit and vegetables.
Strabane Community project which has experienced an ever increasing need for its services had become unable to carry out some of its vital work in the community due to a lack of facilities. The new Community Hub will enable the group to provide much needed new amenities for the community enhancing the services it currently offers in the local area including meals on wheels, alongside its various anti-poverty initiatives.
The Hub will also act as an educational base, an area for social enterprise as well as a venue for linking people from the area to advice and support workers.
Speaking about the opening of the Community Hub and Garden, Danial O’Hagan Manager from Strabane Community Project said: “Strabane Community Project is delighted to have received funding from the Space & Place programme. The funding will bring great benefits to Strabane Community Project as an organisation and more importantly to Strabane Town and the wider community including rural areas.
“The Space & Place Programme was designed to connect people and communities by utilising unused space. As an organisation, we will move forward with great confidence that we will deliver on the outputs that will lead to great change in the Strabane area, enabling us to continue to grow and provide vital services to support the people within our community,” said Danial.
The Big Lottery Fund’s Space & Place programme is delivered by a consortium headed up by the Community Foundation for Northern Ireland.
Michael Hughes Programme Co-ordinator of the Space & Place Programme said: “The Space & Place Consortium is delighted to see this new community space opening in Strabane. Strabane Community Project carries out vitally important work in the local area and this project really embodies the ethos of the Space & Place Programme which is to connect communities through the better use of space.
“We are especially delighted to see a group bringing back into productive community use, two existing underused spaces. The Space & Place Programme is confident that these new community amenities will enhance community life for generations to come,” said Michael.
Big Lottery Fund Northern Ireland Chair Julie Harrison said: “We are delighted to see how Strabane Community Project has worked with local people to develop this centre.
“We believe this 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,” said Julie.