Ulster Unionist Assembly Member Michael McGimpsey has expressed his delight at this evening’s decision by the Belfast Education and Library Board to agree to invest £100,000 to upgrade the old Porters Memorial Dining Hall for use as a dedicated youth club.
The areas youth club had closed several years ago due to structural problems with the building and was never replaced. In the interim only six hours a week of youth services have been provided out of the community centre, divided between secondary and primary school children.
In a statement Michael McGimpsey said, “For many years I, along with Harry Todd, Michelle Bostock and the Donegall Pass Community Forum have lobbied and fought for a dedicated youth facility in the area after the previous building closed due to structural problems. It is unacceptable that the young people of the area have had to wait for so long, but I am none the less overjoyed that our hard work and dedication will at long last provide them with their own youth club.”
“Work is due to start on the building before the end of March next year and we are confident that the young people will be able to make use of the facility in a short period of time.”
“I wish to thank and pay tribute to Harry Todd, Michelle Bostock, the staff of the Community Forum and the local youth workers for all their support over the last number of years.”
“Our children and young people are our most precious asset and deserve every opportunity that can be afforded to them. This investment by BELB has the potential to make a real difference to the lives of all the young people in Donegall Pass.”