Work underway on new £2m youth club

A huge crane, towering high over the North Lurgan skyline, is bringing new hope to a deprived community with work starting on the new £2m youth club.

An army of workers are beavering away at the Clann Eireann Youth Club development which aims to provide a safe and friendly space for young people as well as a myriad of activities.

Pictured at a bricklaying ceremony at the new Clann Eireann Youth Centre are from left, Derek Baker, permanent secretary, Dept of Education, Grace Crosby and James Beatty, St Ronan's College students, and Dee McKerr, chairman of Clann Eireann Youth Development Committee. INLM42-206.

Pictured at a bricklaying ceremony at the new Clann Eireann Youth Centre are from left, Derek Baker, permanent secretary, Dept of Education, Grace Crosby and James Beatty, St Ronan's College students, and Dee McKerr, chairman of Clann Eireann Youth Development Committee. INLM42-206.

The Club, which has been around since 1953, is open seven days a week delivering a range of programmes including community relations, anti-bullying and drug and alcohol awareness.

Derek Baker, Permanent Secretary for the Department of Education said: “It is a pleasure to be here to see progress on the new build for Clann Eireann Youth Club.

“Such facilities provide young people with a safe and friendly environment to develop their own individual skills which can have a positive impact on their local communities.

“Youth organisations also give children and young people the chance to discuss and debate issues of interest to them and meet other young people who share their interests or who are from different backgrounds.

“The new club will ensure a quality youth provision for the area for the next 25 years and beyond. I look forward to seeing the newly completed club and wish all involved well for the future.”

Dee McKerr of Clann Eireann Youth Club said they were delighted to host Mr Baker on site for a “Bricklaying Ceremony”.

Mr Baker was joined by Club Trustees, Committee Members, Youth Workers, Young people - club members, Building Contractors, EA Staff, Department of Education Youth Estates Staff, Consulting Architects - Design Teams and Financial -Advisors Consultants as well as representatives from ABC Council along with Local MLAs.

Mr McKerr said: “We are indebted to everyone for their individual and collective contributions in enabling construction to start and progress at a pace.

“Our new youth centre is a striking image on the local skyline ... with a completion date of mid April next year we all can look forward to an enhanced programme delivery which responds to and meets the evergrowing needs of our young people and the wider community for generations to come.”

Isherwood and Ellis were appointed as the integrated design team. Hetherington Painting and Building contractors, Donaghmore were appointed as the main contractor.