CONSTRUCTION TO BEGIN ON NEW YMCA PREMISES IN LURGAN
23 September 2011
Dr Denis Rooney CBE, Chairman of the International Fund for Ireland and Education Minister, John O’Dowd today visited the site of the new £1.5 million YMCA in Lurgan.
The new building will be a cross-community, purpose built, multi-storey facility bringing the work of the YMCA to one centralised site in the town.
The complex will be on Carnegie Street, close to the town centre ensuring the premises will be easily accessible to both the Unionist and Nationalist communities. It will contain staff accommodation, a lounge area and multi use space for a variety of activities.
The £1.5 million project is being funded jointly by the International Fund for Ireland through the Leaving a Legacy Programme and the Department of Education as well as funding from Cloth Workers Foundation; Lang Family Trusts; Garfield Weston Trust; Hilda Lang Trust; Henry Smith; Lurgan Credit Union; Rank Foundation; and the YMCA. The Ulster Garden Villages are also providing a loan.
The new building will enable Lurgan YMCA to facilitate a number of projects including youth work training, while also providing a programme of activity to educate, engage and develop the young people of Lurgan. These will include diversity and conflict management workshops, personal development, leadership programmes and street outreach work.
Dr Denis Rooney CBE, Chairman of the International Fund for Ireland said: “The Fund is delighted to be contributing £856,000 towards this new facility. The new premises will enable Lurgan YMCA to increase its work with the young people of Lurgan and help them to deliver Good Relations activities to tackle sectarianism and gang involvement and promote understanding between the main communities.
“The Fund continues to develop and support pioneering initiatives, particularly in education, housing and with community organisations that promote integration and underpin peace building and reconciliation.”
Education Minister, John O’Dowd said: ““The YMCA carries out fantastic work right across the north, bringing together young people from all backgrounds to take part in a wide range of activities. Lurgan YMCA has been providing a valuable service to the local area for over 25 years, helping break down barriers between communities. My Department has invested £380,000 in this project which will provide brand new premises for the organisation and therefore ensure that this good work can continue for many years to come.
I look forward to visiting the new building in the future when it has been completed.”
Mr George Emerson, Chairman of Lurgan YMCA: “We are thrilled that the funding package is in place and we have started construction on the new building which is greatly needed. The new facilities will mean we will be able continue and more importantly expand our work and extend our reach within the community. We are committed to the young people of Lurgan and their personal development and education.”
Hugo Dale, Chief Executive of Lurgan YMCA added: “We really want people from all communities to benefit from this facility and to support us in making Lurgan a safer place to live. Anyone interested in getting involved or checking on the building progress can find us online at www.ymcalurgan.com.”