Belfast Telegraph

McCausland awards £150,000 to refurbish Shankill Youth Centre

Stormont Executive press release - Department for Social Development

Shankill's Conway Youth Centre will be refurbished following a £150,000 boost from Social Development Minister Nelson McCausland.

The funding, provided by the Northern Ireland Executive through the Department for Social Development’s Neighbourhood Renewal strategy, will allow the Centre to enhance existing services and deliver a range of new services such as sport and leisure activities, food bank provision and a recycled furniture outlet.

Making the announcement, the Minister said: “This is good news for the people of Greater Shankill. I have seen for myself that the activities offered at Conway Youth Centre play an important part in improving the life chances of local residents. The refurbishment will allow the centre to expand the services they offer and provide even greater opportunities for people of all ages to build respect for their local community and for themselves.

“This project supports my Department’s strategic objectives of community and social renewal. These objectives aim to improve the quality of life for people in some of our most deprived neighbourhoods. They help to increase voluntary activity, contribute towards healthier lifestyles and aid community development. “I look forward to a future visit to the centre to see the works completed.”

Funding of £58,000 is also being provided by Belfast City Council towards the refurbishment work. Alderman Gavin Robinson, Chair of Belfast City Council’s Strategic Policy and Resources Committee said: “The council recognises the importance of investing in local projects which make a real difference to people’s lives, so we’re delighted to contribute towards these renovations.

“As part of our Investment Programme for the city, we’ve set up a £5 million Local Investment Fund, with elected representatives targeting money where it needed most in their neighbourhoods. Conway Youth Centre is one of 20 schemes to benefit from the first £1.26 million from the fund, which is a great example of how the council is helping to bring investment to the heart of our communities.”

Conway Youth Centre is open to people of all ages and provides personal, social educational and developmental opportunities for people from the Greater Shankill area.

Notes to editors:

1. DSD is contributing funding of £153,664 to cover the refurbishment of the organisation’s premises.

2. Funding of £58,000 is also being provided by Belfast City Council’s Local Investment Fund, which is part of its Investment Programme 2012-2015.

3. The Neighbourhood Renewal Strategy “People and Place” which was published in June 2003 sets out governments proposals for closing the gap between the quality of life for people in the most deprived neighbourhoods and the rest of society.

The Neighbourhood Renewal Strategy has four interlinking strategic objectives:

  • Community Renewal – to develop confident communities that are able and committed to improving the quality of life in the areas;
  • Economic Renewal – to develop economic activity in the most deprived neighbourhoods and connect them to the wider urban economy;
  • Physical Renewal – to help create attractive, safe, and sustainable environments in the most deprived neighbourhoods; and
  • Social Renewal – to improve social conditions for the people who live in the most deprived neighbourhoods through better co-ordinated public services and the creation of safer environments.

4. See photos from the Department for Social Development in our collection at

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