04/04/2011

Markets Youth Centre Funding Welcomed

There's good news for Belfast's Markets with the announcement that the Department of Education is to be a lead funder in planning for a new youth centre in the south Belfast nationalist area.

The former Sinn Fein MLA Alex Maskey (pictured) and Laganbank councillor Deirdre Hargey have welcomed the announcement from their party colleague and former Education Minister, Caitríona Ruane.

She has already written to Alex Maskey and confirmed that her Department agreed to be the lead funder in the project, contributing £900,000 towards the scheme.

As the Assembly was dissolved in anticipation of the May elections, she said that officials from the Department of Social Development and representatives from St Malachy's Primary School would plot out the next steps.

Alex Maskey said: "That the funding has been agreed for the development of a youth centre in the Markets is an extremely welcome development for the local community.

"For a number of years plans and discussions have been in place to build a new youth centre in the area but until now it has not been possible to secure all of the necessary funding to commence the building work on this exciting new facility," he said.

Cllr. Deirdre Hargey said: "The centre will be built within the grounds of St Malachy's Primary School.

"The news that the Department of Education has been able to contribute £900,000 to this project will be warmly welcomed by the whole community here in the Markets.

"The community has suffered severe social disadvantage and this development will enable the parish, school and local community to provide much needed youth services for our young people," she concluded.

(GK/BMcC)

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