27/06/2006

Minister praises community's progress

The Social Development Minister David Hanson today visited Tigers Bay in north Belfast to review the progress made on the regeneration of the area.

The Minister praised the contribution made by the local community to improving their area, which is part of the Department for Social Development’s (DSD’s) Inner North Neighbourhood Renewal area.

During his visit, Mr Hanson was shown the new community garden at Canning Hill and the Mount Sports Zone, which have been transformed from derelict sites for the benefit of the community.

Commenting on the progress, David Hanson said: “The impact of this programme is clear for all to see. What was once a vandalised eyesore has become a pleasing landscaped area for all the community to use, whilst in the Mount Sports Zone, provides a safe and stimulating environment for the children and young people.

“The community has worked in partnership with Groundwork NI to transform a derelict area into a place that local people can use and enjoy. Groundwork has a reputation for helping communities to strengthen and grow in confidence."

He continued: “The work that I have seen today demonstrates what can be achieved through the involvement of the local people and this is at the heart of my Department’s regeneration strategy. Initiatives such as Neighbourhood Renewal and Renewing Communities, recognises the need to allow communities to identify local issues and to support them in finding solutions.”

The Social Development Minister also visited the Groundwork office at Duncairn Gardens where he viewed plans for a new resource centre, which will provide a unique service by using specialised expertise in ways of bringing people together to promote community cohesion.

(EF/GB)

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