Ballyholland set for £1million SOAR funding
SDLP South Down MLA Karen McKevitt has welcomed the news that SOAR funding of nearly £1million has been awarded to the Ballyholland Development Association (BDA).
The funding will enable the BDA to develop a community resource centre to be used by everyone, young and old.
“The centre will greatly benefit the whole community, particularly those who live in Ballyholland and those from areas that have natural links to Ballyholland such as the Old Warrenpoint Road and Ashgrove.
“It has been a long fight to get this far; I along with my SDLP colleagues have backed the development of this facility since 2005 when I was still a councillor so it is wonderful to hear that finally the funding is in place.
McKevitt added, “The driving force behind this facility is the Ballyholland Development Association and I would like to pay tribute to all who have worked hard over the past eight years raising funds and awareness to deliver this wonderful facility to the local community.
“I would also like to thank Newry and Mourne District Council and SOAR for recognising the need for this centre and designating funding.”
SDLP Councillor Declan McAteer echoed his party colleague’s sentiments. He stated, “I expect S.O.A.R.’s Joint Council Committee to announce their approval this week for a multi-purpose community centre at Ballyholland.
“Funding under the NI Rural Development programme of three quarters of a million pounds will enable the construction of a full size sports hall, gym, youth club and group meeting rooms. These facilities will transform the lives of both young and old in Ballyholland and adjoining districts.
“This welcome breakthrough for Ballyholland Development Association comes after many unsuccessful applications to various funding schemes stretching back more than twenty five years. The group are to be congratulated for their persistence and tenacity in seeking out funding opportunities despite many set backs.
McAteer added, “This unprecedented investment into the Ballyholland area coupled with contributions from NMDC and the local community will bring the total investment close to one million pounds.
“I share in the delight of the Community and commend the action by SOAR’s Local Area Group in the prudent and wise decision to move monies from areas of underspend into this worthy and essential rural project.”
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