Newspaper for Crossmaglen, South Armagh, Newry and Down.

Mayor officially opens revamped community centre

The newly-extended and modernised community centre in Crossmaglen was officially opened by Mayor of Newry and Mourne District Council, Dáire Hughes, on Thursday.

Alongside invited guest Mr David Small, Deputy Secretary of the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development’s (DARD) Service Delivery Group, Mayor Hughes welcomed those present and paid tribute to the efforts of local councillors and council officials who lobbied over recent years to have the facility upgraded to meet the needs of the people in Crossmaglen.

Having undergone a £450k upgrade, the building now boasts a computer training room, disabled access facilities incorporating a lift to the new second-floor extension and a welcoming reception area where the public can use the on-site computers.  Several meeting rooms can accommodate advice clinics and small meetings while a new partition and lighting installed in the main hall will increase options for use of this space.

Speaking at Thursday’s event, Mayor Hughes also thanked the Sweet Group for providing technical support to the project and Kelly McEvoy and Brown, the main contractors of the scheme.

Funders behind the project included Newry and Mourne District Council, the Department of Social Development (At Risk programme), the Library Service and SOAR (Southern Organisation for Action in Rural areas) development programme.

SDLP MLA Dominic Bradley welcomed the completion of the work and commended those behind it “The community effort in lobbying for this investment must be commended first and foremost. I know that the people of Crossmaglen will put this centre to good use over the next number of years and I’m sure many community groups who were temporarily displaced during the renovations are looking forward to settling into their new surroundings,” he said.

Councillor Geraldine Donnelly said the refurbished centre “is something which the Crossmaglen community will be proud of”.

“I would particularly like to encourage people to take full advantage of what the centre has to offer including the Library which will continue to be a fundamental part of the centre for many years to come,” she said, while the chairperson of the party’s local branch, Anne Sheridan, encouraged local people to use the centre and become involved with the Crossmaglen Community Association.

To book the Community Centre, or for further information on this development, contact the Project Officer for the scheme, Julie Mc Cann on 02830861949.