A new purpose built family centre in Twinbrook, West Belfast has officially opened at a cost of £2.1 million.
The development has created a hub for a range of services including family support services and community education, personal development, arts/cultural projects, social economy day care, a theatre and a café for the community in the Colin Neighbourhood renewal area.
Partnership working between the Department for Communities (DfC), The Executive Office (TEO), Ciste Infheistíochta Gaeilge, Colin Neighbourhood Partnership and Ionad na Fuiseoige has delivered the project.
Moira Doherty, Deputy Secretary at DfC, said: “A number of partners collaborated to deliver this new facility for West Belfast. The centre will provide opportunities for a wide range of citizens to participate and engage in educational, social and leisure activities, enabling them to live more active and healthy lives.
“As lead partner, the Department provided £876,000 through the Neighbourhood Renewal Investment Programme. Our aim has been to provide a facility for Twinbrook that meets the objectives of our People and Place Strategy - to invest in neighbourhoods, to develop confident communities and to improve their quality of life.”
Dr Mark Browne, Director, Strategic Policy, Equality and Good Relations at The Executive Office, said: “Through the Executive Office, the Social Investment Fund (SIF) has contributed £818,000 to this purpose built centre providing access to arts and cultural projects, social economy day care, family support services and community education for local people. This excellent project meets the SIF vision of delivering social change and making life better for people living in areas of need by reducing poverty and unemployment and addressing physical dereliction.”
Ionad na Fuiseoige Chairperson, Proinnsóis Ó Labhradha, said “This project symbolises the hard work of everyone involved in creating this state of the art facility not only for the Irish speaking community but the entire Colin community and I am delighted it will remain a community asset for years to come. I would like to thank The Department for Communities; The Executive Office; Ciste Infheistíochta Gaeilge and Colin Neighbourhood Partnership who provided the financial support to make it happen.”
Caoimhín Mac Giolla Mhín, Director of Ciste Infheistíochta Gaeilge, the Irish language Capital Investment Fund said: “Ciste, are proud to have been the first major funder to endorse and fund the Ionad na Fuiseoige family centre whilst working closely with the client for the past six or seven years. We were more than happy to offer the group up to £320,000 from our funding pot, which in turn attracted the other major funders to become involved to make this a much needed state of the art Irish medium community facility. It’s been a long difficult journey but we are delighted and proud of Theresa’s determination in driving forward this game changing Irish language project.”
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