The Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Councillor Brian Tierney, joined community representatives today for the commencement of work on the site of the new Galliagh Community Centre.
The £1.5m project which is led by Derry City and Strabane District Council, with over £700,000 of funding provided from the Department for Communities, will create a much needed state of the art community hub with dedicated office space and multipurpose rooms to be utilised by a range of groups in the local area.
The new facility is located in the heart of the Galliagh community adjacent to other local services on lands at Knockalla Park. Planned occupants include Galliagh Women's Group, Off the Streets, Galliagh Community Group, Teach Na Failte and CRJ.
After turning the first sod on site, Mayor Tierney said he was delighted to see work commencing. "This facility has been long awaited here in the Galliagh area and will address a real need in the local community for a dedicated shared space that is fit for purpose and available to a range of local groups. As someone who lives in the area I'm well aware of the demand for modern community space to enable the delivery of essential services.
"While work has been unfortunately delayed by the recent restrictions on the building trade, much has been going on behind the scenes to get to this point today and I want to acknowledge the efforts of the capital development team, the contractor and all those involved.
"I look forward to seeing work now progress on the centre and the delivery of this vital resource in one of the city's largest neighbourhood renewal areas. I want to thank the department for their support of this project and their commitment to meeting the needs of some of our most deprived community areas for better facilities, services and infrastructure."
Communities Minister Carál Ní Chuilín said: "I am pleased to provide support of £735k for the construction of this new Community Centre which will help meet the needs of a wide range of service users in particular the very active and vibrant local community.
"This project has been developed through the foresight and dedication of the community infrastructure and development workers supported through Neighbourhood Renewal Investment Programme, funded through my Department. The new community facility will provide a base for the community and voluntary sector to grow in this area and continue their excellent work in serving the community."
The new Community Centre will be based at Fairview Road and will provide single story accommodation over 860 m2. It's estimated that the construction programme will take approximately 12 months to complete. It's the second major project to be delivered in the wider Ballyarnett DEA, with £2.4m also being channelled into a community hub in neighbouring Shantallow, which is also being developed in partnership with the Department for Communities who have contributed £1m to the construction costs.