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£880,000 refurb fund for Portadown youth club

Social Development Minister Nelson McCausland and Education Minister John O'Dowd have announced a £880,000 refurbishment project for St Mary’s Youth Club in Portadown.
~ Thursday, 14 February 2013

On a visit to the club to mark the start of the project, Ministers heard about plans to create a new fit for purpose centre.

Speaking during his visit, Minister McCausland said: “Our young people are tomorrow’s leaders and parents. Supporting and encouraging them is strengthening the fabric for stronger communities. St Mary’s has been offering young people from the area a place to come together, build friendships and contribute to their community for many years. The fact that the club has done this in a 40 year old building with a leaking roof is testament to the commitment of both staff and the young people who make use of the facility.

“I hope today’s investment demonstrates my commitment and that of the Northern Ireland Executive in supporting the work of St Mary’s and its contribution to young people. I know they plan to develop a new multi-media room, kitchen and social area, which will provide long needed space to expand the range of activities on offer. I wish them well with the project and look forward to a return visit to see the makeover complete.”

The project, funded by the Department for Social Development and the Department of Education, will work in partnership with the St Mary’s Committee and the Portadown Neighbourhood Renewal Partnership Board.

Minister O’Dowd commented: “It is a pleasure to be here today to celebrate the start of much needed refurbishment works on this valuable youth facility. As children and young people grow and develop, it is vital that they have the opportunity to engage in educational, positive and enjoyable activities outside the school environment which help them build their self-esteem and interpersonal skills. Attending youth clubs and other group activities is a great way of achieving this.

“By having an organised setting where they can meet, make friends and take part in structured activities in a safe environment, young people can gain a range of skills and attributes that can improve their employment prospects and complement their learning in school.

“St Mary’s Youth Club has been providing a valuable service to the local area for many years. The funding provided by my Department working in partnership with DSD, the St Mary’s Committee and the Portadown Neighbourhood Renewal Partnership Board will help to ensure that this good work can continue for many more years to come.”

The work involves the provision of:

  • first floor extension to provide new office and multi-media room,
  • new passenger lift,
  • new roof over entire building,
  • remodelling of existing entrance and reception office,
  • new kitchen to social area,
  • new wall, floor and ceiling finishes and
  • new mechanical and electrical services installations including new boiler and heating system.