Sollus Centre is a 'Place of Light'
03 December 2009
After 6 years of sheer hard work and commitment by Bready & District Ulster Scots Development Association, Thursday 3rd December 2009 saw the official opening of the Sollus Centre ‘Place of Light’.
Bready & District Ulster Scots Development Association was initially formed in December 2001 as an umbrella organisation for four cultural groups in the area, recognizing the potential of cultural activities to help regenerate disadvantaged rural areas. To prevent the further decline of their hamlet, the Association embarked on a journey by applying for funds to construct a 3,510sq ft cultural resource centre. As a result, a new state-of-the-art resource centre was built, which includes: a main hall, kitchen, lift, ICT training room, meeting room and rentable office space. The community group are delighted with the new building and are certain that the resource centre will enhance the physical and economic development of Bready by focusing on providing training facilities, office space, cultural and tourism opportunities.
The project, which cost over £497,702 to complete, has been made possible by financial contributions of: £200,000.00 from the Building Sustainable Prosperity Programme (BSP) managed by the Northern Ireland Rural Development Council (RDC); £170,557 from the International Fund for Ireland; £101,321 from the Big Lottery; £47,500 from Strabane District Council; £26,013.72 from Bready & District Ulster Scots Development Association.
At the official opening of the resource centre the Chairperson of Bready & District Ulster Scots Development Association, James Kee, commented on the tremendous change the funding has made to the community. He thanked the RDC and its staff, for their support during the project and also thanked the committee members of Bready & District Ulster Scots Development Association who had put in many hours of work to make the new facility a reality.
Speaking on behalf of RDC Leslie Craig commented: “RDC has a long track record of working with various groups to help them meet the needs and requirements of their local communities. This project is one of 24 funded through the Building Sustainable Prosperity Programme – Access to Services. RDC have worked with many community groups across a range of funding initiatives. It is a prime example of the hard work that is invested into rural communities across Northern Ireland.”
Speaking at the official opening, Adrian Johnston, Board Member of the International Fund for Ireland, said: “Tonight’s event is the culmination of many years of hard work, dedication and commitment by the Bready & District Ulster Scots Development Association to turn their vision for this wonderful new Centre into a reality.
“The International Fund for Ireland is delighted to have been associated with this project, and I have no doubt that the local community will reap the benefits and opportunities accruing from this project for many years to come – long after the International Fund for Ireland ceases to exist.”
Also speaking at the event representing Strabane District Council and the co-funder from the Department of Enterprise Trade and Investment’s Building Sustainable Prosperity Programme, Geraldine Stafford, the Economic Development Manager said; “ the Council was delighted to be able to fund a complementary scheme of Capital Works to create a catalyst for an economic development spin out of this rich community and cultural Programme.” She continued: “I wish the organisers every congratulations for delivering such an iconic Community and Cultural Centre for Bready and its people.”
James Kee, Chairperson of Bready & District Ulster Scots Development Association said; “For many years we have sought to address the need for such a centre in the area and thankfully all our hard work has come to fruition. I would like to take this opportunity to thank our varied funding organisations for not only their support, but also for their invaluable practical support throughout the duration of the project. The local community will be able to access important community services”.