£2.9m Investment For Belfast Community Projects

Two community projects are set to benefit from a £2.9 million investment courtesy of Belfast City Council.

Plans to develop the north Belfast schemes were announced at City Hall today, Monday 11 February, as part of the Belfast Investment Fund (BIF).

The Grace Women's Development Centre, which is currently operating from the Ardoyne Community Centre, will see a new purpose-built facility "to support local women and families", with a counselling suite, multi-functional training suite, café and office space.

Also to benefit from the money is Cancer Lifeline, a 'home from home' centre which offers support and information to families affected by cancer. Its premises, also located on Alliance Avenue, will be refurbished to include a larger meeting room and a lift for easier access to upstairs facilities.

Speaking at a visit to the site of Grace Family Centre, Lord Mayor Councillor Deirdre Hargey said: "I'm delighted to see construction work on the site of this purpose-built facility for Grace Women's Development Centre. The new facilities will enable the group to offer a wider range of learning and training opportunities that promote personal development, health and well-being.

"Construction of this centre and the refurbishment of Cancer Lifeline centre, just up the road, ensuring that the use of the premises is maximised and activities are more accessible to all members, is wonderful news for the city and the north Belfast area.
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"Each of these great projects received vital funding through our Belfast Investment Fund. To date, BIF has committed £28.2 million to projects that help to develop or regenerate facilities for people who live in, invest in or visit our city. BIF forms part of the council's £325 million physical investment programme encompassing over 350 projects which aim to boost the city's economy, create jobs and improve quality of life in our neighbourhoods.

"Both projects also link to the goals of our local community plan – the Belfast Agenda, to improve our neighbourhoods and support and care for our residents and citizens, in particular, those facing many challenges." 

Mark O'Donnell from the Department for Communities added: "The Department is pleased to support projects such as these. Both projects make a massive contribution in supporting the local community and this investment will ensure that their high quality services are now matched by state-of-the-art facilities. Both support the Department's strategic objectives of community, social, economic and physical renewal; objectives which aim to improve the quality of life for people in some of our most deprived neighbourhoods."  

Also speaking at Grace Family Centre, Director of the Urban Villages Initiative Linsey Farrell said; "We are delighted to have contributed £145,000 to this worthwhile project. This investment will help to deliver vital services in the North Belfast Urban Village area and in particular, the very important services offered by Grace Women's Development Centre. The Urban Villages Initiative is committed to investing in developing thriving places across the North Belfast Urban Village area and we are pleased to be supporting this project." 

For more information on the Belfast Investment Fund, visit here.


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