Several of Lurgan’s community centres are not fit for purpose, according to local MP David Simpson.
Speaking following a consultants’ report to councillors on the matter he said, “Working with my DUP councillors I am committed to ensuring that the community centre provision within Lurgan is upgraded and renewed.
“I think particularly of the Avenue Road, Mourneview and North Lurgan community centres all of which were built over 30 years ago and are not fit for purpose.
“It is vital that communities have a focal point within the area they live, be it a community centre, a community café, or an area where they can host events, carry out training, and run information sessions.”
Cllr Carla Lockhart said, “What we have particularly in the South Lurgan area is two facilities that are not fit for purpose with the Avenue Road and Mourneview facility being built in an era that does not suit modern day needs.
“I want to see a renewed community spirit in both communities and I believe that a community centre upgrade or new build would be the catalyst.
“I have championed these upgrades and I will not halt until this is delivered.
“I am also supportive of other community upgrades in the area and believe the entire Lurgan area deserves better facilities. £900,000 has been factored into the rates estimates process and I will be making as strong a case as possible to the new council to try and ensure that this work is carried out as soon as possible.
“Alongside this upgrade I also believe it is vitally important that we look immediately at the lack of rural community centre provision within our villages outside of Lurgan.”
A council spokesperson said: “The community centres in Lurgan are very popular, well used and appreciated by their local communities. Whilst the buildings are older and not as pristine as some of our newer or refurbished centres, they are fit for purpose from a health and safety perspective, safe to use, clean and properly staffed. It is however acknowledged that if improvements were made to the centres there could be more activities held than at present.
“Council has been considering how to progress community centre provision in Lurgan in the future and a number of options will be presented to the Development Committee in due course when the consultants’ report is completed .
“Any decision on future investment in the Lurgan community centres will be a decision to be taken by the new ABC Council.”