Community hub at Seagoe club

Seagoe FC.
Seagoe FC.

Seagoe Football Club is to get a new lease of life, with the creation of a new community hub at the Tarsan Lane site.

The project has been given a vital boost with £349,521 awarded for the replacement of portable cabins with a multi-purpose community building which will cater for a range of groups and organisations in the area currently struggling to find appropriate facilities.

Val Russell.

Val Russell.

The boost came as the Space & Place programme announced £4.3 million of funding for Northern Ireland communities in its final round of awards. Projects will transform under-used, contested and neglected space across Northern Ireland.

Space & Place is a £15million Big Lottery funded capital grants programme which seeks to connect more people and communities together by making use of under-used or difficult space. It is delivered by a consortium headed up by the Community Foundation for Northern Ireland.

The Seagoe project is being put forward in partnership between the football club and Ballynacorr Rural Development Group.

Seagoe FC spokesman Val Russell said the grant would fully fund the project which aims to create a community hub to host activities such as indoor bowls, table tennis and community meetings.

It will also include toilet facilities, a kitchen and meeting room.

It is hoped work on the scheme can begin in the summer and be completed by March next year.

Mr Russell said, “This will make a huge difference to the people in the area which will offer them a neutral venue for events.”

He added they had consulted widely with the community in the area to get their views.

He also revealed there had been 170 initial applications for funding from across the province, which had been narrowed down to 24, with 13 projects receiving funding.

The consortium supporting the Space and Place scheme also includes Groundwork NI, the Rural Community Network, the Public Health Agency, the Northern Ireland Housing Executive and the Northern Ireland Environmental Link.

In total, thirteen projects will be supported under this final round of funding. Grants will be used for a wide variety of purposes including community hubs, an older people’s gym, women’s centre and youth club.

A number of projects have opened their doors having been funded in previous Space & Place rounds and the consortium has already seen the positive impact new facilities are having in terms of better connecting people and communities.

“We now look forward to enabling more people to transform under-used or neglected spaces in their communities through this final round of grants which will in turn also tackle a diverse range of issues including social isolation and lack of facilities in many areas,” said Michael Hughes, Space & Place Co-Ordinator,

Joanne McDowell, Big Lottery Fund NI director, said: “We understand how important good quality space is and we are delighted to see these 13 projects across Northern Ireland receiving funding. We hope they will make a real difference to local people and the communities they live in.”