Maghaberry Community Centre’s £750,000 new-look Community Centre and adjoining Sports Hall with brand-new changing facilities has officially opened as part of a long-term Village Renewal Plan, initiated and managed by Lisburn City Council.

Funding for the project was provided from Sport Northern Ireland, who contributed £245,000 and the Lagan Rural Partnership, administered by Lisburn City Council, provided £250,000.

The Council which provided the final third of the funding for the Sports Hall project, has worked closely with Maghaberry Community Association to deliver the extended Community Centre, a Floodlit multi-use games area and a new Children’s Play Area, providing high quality facilities for the enjoyment of local people.

The Chairman of the Leisure Services Committee, Alderman Paul Porter, said: “The community centre is bigger, brighter and will provide more scope for community activities as several strands of this development now come together.  I would like to thank all the agencies who worked in partnership to pay for and see the Community Centre extension work progress and thanks must go to everyone who worked on this project.  I hope to see the young and not-so-young making good use of the new Sports Hall and the completed project is a tremendous addition for Maghaberry.”

Alderman Allan Ewart, Chairman of the Lagan Rural Partnership Local Action Group, said: “The Lagan Rural Partnership is very pleased to be able to assist with funding schemes like this one, through the Rural Development Programme, and our intention is to provide facilities in rural areas in order to bring an added benefit to the whole community. We are very appreciative of the funding for the project provided by Sport Northern Ireland.  We hope to see our partnership continue in other areas in the City to benefit local community need and strengthen community development.”

Sport Northern Ireland Chief Executive Antoinette McKeown welcomed the new facility saying:  “Sport Northern Ireland is delighted to have supported Maghaberry Community Association in funding the sports hall and changing facilities at Maghaberry Community Centre. It is great to see that our investment of £245,000 is providing value for money and increased sporting opportunities for the area as well as playing a key part in the overall Village Renewal Plan. Facilities such as this are vital in increasing the number of children and adults experiencing, enjoying and participating in sport and physical activity.”