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Rural Affairs Minister, Edwin Poots MLA, has visited Greenhill YMCA in Newcastle to see how £500,000 of funding has helped to construct a new community hub.

The funding awarded from DAERA’s Basic Services Scheme under the LEADER element of Priority 6 of the Rural Development Programme (RDP) 2014-2020, facilitated the construction of a new community hub comprising of a large flexible community space, break-out area, water safety pool with hydrotherapy functions and shower/changing facilities.

Following a tour of the new building, Minister Poots said: “This is an impressive building and I am delighted that Greenhill YMCA was able to avail of funding from my Department to create this community hub. It is particularly heartwarming and encouraging to hear how the new hub has been able to be used for the needs of young and vulnerable children during the current Covid pandemic.

"I want to take this opportunity to thank the community volunteers and councillors in the Northern Ireland Local Action Groups for the time they have given up to progress great projects like Greenhill YMCA. I wish Greenhill every success both now and in the future.”

Councillor Roisin Mulgrew said: “‘As Chair of the Mourne, Gullion and Lecale Rural Development Partnership, I am delighted to see the completion of this impressive facility which has availed of Rural Development funding, provided by DAERA and the European Union. The volunteers involved in the Local Action Group continue to work tirelessly to ensure local decisions made by local representatives, bring high quality projects such as this to fruition.”

Mr Kenny Baxter, Greenhill YMCA thanked the Minister and his Department for the funding. He explained that as their normal activities cannot continue at present due to Covid, the new flexible community space is being used for the needs of young and vulnerable children.