A community centre gutted in a malicious fire in Glengormley had recently secured funding to turn it into a peace and reconciliation venue.
The blaze at the Barron Hall cross-community venue on the Antrim Road was reported to police early yesterday morning.
The Fire and Rescue Service extinguished the flames but the hall was destroyed and the PSNI said that there was evidence that the oil supply to the premises had been tampered with and the roof deliberately set alight.
The hall is the headquarters of the Newtownabbey Community Forum.
Forum co-ordinator Kathy Wolf said: “This is a hall that we built up over the past two years to make it a shared space, not a neutral space but a shared space.
“We've built it up so that it's a place that everyone within the borough and further afield can use.”
She added that she believed the centre could possibly have been mistaken for an Orange hall.