Work starts on £1.4m Belvoir youth centre
Work has begun on a new state of the art youth facility in south Belfast.
£1.4 million is set to be spent on a stand-alone controlled youth centre in the Belvoir area catering for over 1,000 young people.
Viewing the commencement of construction work Education Minister John O'Dowd said: "Today's event marks an important day for the young people of south Belfast.
"The new building will create greater opportunities for young people in the area to participate in a wide range of educational and developmental youth work programmes, whilst working in partnership with many other voluntary and statutory organisations, including local post-primary schools.
"It will include a multi-purpose hall, office accommodation, meeting rooms, kitchen facility and coffee bar, and a social area, in what will be an open plan layout.
"This investment reflects my commitment to supporting the youth sector in the important work it does. During frequent visits to youth clubs and programmes I have witnessed many examples of youth work making a positive contribution to the lives of young people."
The investment is part of a wider £12m project in the voluntary youth sector which will benefit a total of 53 capital projects.
"This funding will be used for a variety of projects, including the refurbishment and upgrade of buildings to ensure youth facilities meet current health and safety standards through to the demolition of old buildings and construction of new, fit-for-purpose facilities," added the minister.
"It will benefit communities right across the north and will help the staff and volunteers in the youth sector deliver an improved service to the young people they cater for. This service is invaluable, particularly for those who face barriers to learning, and provides an opportunity for the development of skills and the improvement of educational outcomes outside of the formal learning environment."