Leisure Centre will add to NI economy

How the new centre could look.
How the new centre could look.

The new £30 million plus leisure centre in Craigavon will bring substantial economic benefits including up to 500 jobs and £6.5million to the NI economy, it has been claimed.

Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council submitted a planning application for the leisure centre earlier this month, the biggest capital project Council has ever undertaken.

Council has commissioned Farrans Construction through the Scape Major Works Framework to build the new leisure centre, which involves engaging with local businesses, sub-contractors and suppliers.

“Essentially there will be three areas of employment. Direct employment through the project itself. Indirect through the supply chain and also induced employment through those employed to provide goods and services to meet increased consumption demands,” commented the Chair of Leisure Services Committee Councillor Declan McAlinden.

He continued, “Council anticipates that there will be approximately 280 direct construction jobs with a further 240 jobs via the supply chain and wider economy. Of the 280 figure, the assumption is that a substantial number will be created locally.

“It is also estimated that the construction related employment will create £6.5million of direct wages in the Northern Ireland Economy.”

Council and Farrans are committed to engaging with the local community on a wider basis, given that significant social engagement has been planned for the project.

They will develop a comprehensive programme engaging with local schools, colleges, training providers, community groups and Jobcentre Plus to explore training, skills development and placement opportunities for locals.

Fundamentally, this will ensure that the local community is informed and involved throughout the construction process leaving a positive legacy in the area after the centre is finished.

Brigid McGuigan, Community Engagement Manager from Farrans commented, “The philosophy of our wider social value strategy is to collaborate with agencies so that the investment opportunity created by this project can be leveraged to the greatest extent, acting as a catalyst to provide a lasting legacy of equality, inclusion, sustainable employment and training, and strong neighbourhoods for the Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council area, well after the facility is completed and in operation.”