A new £600,000 sporting pavilion has been officially opened in Kells and Connor.
The Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Cllr William McCaughey, unveiled the new Northern Ireland Centenary Pavilion, just off Station Road.
The new single storey centre has changing rooms, toilet facilities, first aid room, meeting room, and storage and plant rooms. Additional car parking and pedestrian access has also been created.
The Mayor thanked the funders who had helped make the aspiration of such a space a reality: “ Without the funding support from the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) and Mid and East Antrim Local Action Group this project would not have been possible. The local community have also played their role in getting this new pavilion across the line. Council is delighted to have had the support of the people who will use these facilities the most and can’t wait to see how they’re used for all ages.
“These new sports facilities were a key priority for the local community after an extensive consultation process, and this build certainly offers that. The old space was heavily used and should now offer locals and visitors alike, exactly what they need. What better way to mark its opening by naming it the NI Centenary Pavilion, marking its part in history.”
Mid and East Antrim Borough Council have been developing projects under the DAERA’s Village Renewal Scheme for over three years and 18 villages in total have seen around £3 million of funding.
Ald Audrey Wales is Vice Chair of the Mid and East Antrim Local Action Group, who play a key part in rolling out projects with Village Renewal funding, she said: “This facility is much needed here and will be a welcome addition to the villages of Kells and Connor. I’d particularly like to thank the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) for funding of £471,284 to deliver this project under the EU Rural Development Programme’s Village Renewal Scheme.
“The Programme has seen play parks, community hubs, halls and outdoor spaces created, renovated and brought to life for future generations to enjoy, and this is no exception. I’d also like to thank Kells & Connor Community Improvement Association who have been instrumental in getting to this point.”