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Swann welcomes successful Ballycastle leisure centre funding bid


Mr Robin Swann, the North Antrim Ulster Unionist Assembly Member, has welcomed the recent announcement on the successful bid from Causeway Coast and Glens Council for £8.1 million for a new leisure centre in Ballycastle.


According to the UK Government's Levelling Up Fund from which the award was granted, Ballycastle, a small costal town with a rural hinterland, "was formerly the largest town in NI's poorest Council and has been starved of investment."



The funding award statement continues:


"The only indoor leisure facilities are in a 60+ year old converted school with no pool. The community has long campaigned for facilities/services equivalent with other parts of the Borough.


"The community faces challenges including multiple-deprivation, crime, unemployment and low wages.


"A new £15m wet leisure centre will act as a growth stimulus. Together with the new £40m shared school, with cross community use, this project will promote physical activity while addressing sectarianism and economic under-performance."



North Antrim MLA Robin Swann (UUP) welcomed the funding saying:


“At a recent meeting with the Chief Executive of the Council, Ballycastle Chamber of Commerce, Councillor Joan Baird and UUP Glens representative Wesley Craig, this bid was discussed alongside a number of other projects that were seen as being necessary for the further development of the town.


“This is a welcome announcement and there should be no delay in getting it started working in partnership with those who represent the area to ensure that it brings the maximum benefit and works in conjunction with the other projects that are planned.


“Ballycastle has often felt left behind since the amalgamation of the old councils; hopefully this will be the start of a revitalisation of the town for the good of all."




UUP Councillor Joan Baird added:


"I am just so relieved that we have progress on the Ballycastle Leisure Centre. I have worked hard over the past six years to keep this project at the forefront in Council. The plans for the facility went out to public consultation some six years ago raising public expectations, but as we know nothing happened.


“The plans have recently been updated and I urge Council to move swiftly to put out a tender for the scheme. This facility will mean that people from Ballycastle and surrounding rural area will not have a 34-mile round trip for a swim. It will greatly benefit our schools who currently must compete for swimming slots at the Joey Dunlop Centre.”



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