Belfast Telegraph

£560,000 Eglinton Community Hall expansion boost

By Brendan McDaid

A new £560,000 sports, arts and cultural facility has been unveiled at Eglinton Community Hall in Londonderry.

The hall has been expanded with £243,090 of funding from Derry’s urban regeneration company, Ilex, through the Department for Social Development’s UK City of Culture Capital Infrastructure Fund.

Additional funding of £245,000 was allocated from Sport NI Community Capital Fund and the remaining £60,000 from the Eglinton Community Hall’s own funds.

The new sports, arts and cultural facility officially opened this week.

The extension includes a new sports hall, spin room, meeting and exhibition rooms, with kitchen and toilet facilities.

The community hall will host Eglinton Amateur Boxing Club, Karate Club, spin classes, a variety of dance classes and will also offer an expanded programme of arts, sports and multi-cultural activities.

Social Development Minister Nelson McCausland said: “This substantial refurbishment is a great boost for the people of the village of Eglinton and the surrounding rural areas.

“The extension to the community hall will provide space not only for physical activity but also for a range of arts and cultural activities.

“Through my department’s investment in projects like this we are encouraging local communities to thrive and be proud of where they live.

“I have no doubt that this facility will continue to be a great asset for Eglinton village and the surrounding area”.

Mayor of Derry Martin Reilly welcomed the investment.

He said: “On behalf of Derry City Council I am delighted that Eglinton has benefited from this funding to provide excellent facilities for the entire local community and future generations.

“This multi-use shared space will provide the community with the resources to enjoy a wide range of events and activities and have a long-term lasting legacy for the rural community.”

Ilex’s interim chief executive Mel Higgins said: “This extension makes the hall a multi-purpose venue, and now means that Eglinton community can host all sorts of events, making it a key resource for this area.

“The funding will not only offer many new opportunities and programmes to the community, but will provide a positive contribution to 2013 and for many years to come.”

Eglinton Community Hall chairman Jim Knox added: “The combination of City of Culture and Sport NI Capital funding has enabled us to have an excellent facility in Eglinton.

“For participants in the range of new boot camps, yoga, pilates and community relations events we have held just since May the experience has been beneficial.

“The centre has been widely praised for the facilities provided in Eglinton and is a very welcome addition to the area.”

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