New £1.4 million build for youth centre

Derek Baker with Sammy Willis and Ruth Bell at the official opening of the new state of the art youth facility in Portadown following funding from the Department of Education's Voluntary Youth Capital Scheme. Also included is Darryn Causby, YMCA National Support Officer.Photo by Kelvin Boyes/Press Eye.
Derek Baker with Sammy Willis and Ruth Bell at the official opening of the new state of the art youth facility in Portadown following funding from the Department of Education's Voluntary Youth Capital Scheme. Also included is Darryn Causby, YMCA National Support Officer.Photo by Kelvin Boyes/Press Eye.

A new state of the art youth facility has officially opened in Portadown following funding from the Department of Education’s Voluntary Youth Capital Scheme.

The investment has been used to create a new purpose built facility for the YMCA, comprising a main sports hall with viewing gallery, multipurpose rooms and social areas as well as meeting, arts and craft spaces and a large outdoor landscaped space.

Speaking at an event to mark the official opening, Permanent Secretary, Derek Baker said, “I am pleased that the Department has been able to provide funding for this worthwhile project which will benefit the young people of Portadown.

“Voluntary Youth Capital Schemes such as the Portadown YMCA facility demonstrate our commitment to providing funding to enhance the delivery and performance of youth work to improve young people’s lives. The education of young people can be greatly enhanced through informal learning opportunities provided by youth work.”

YMCA, National Support Officer, Darryn Causby said, “We are delighted to officially open this new state of the art facility and continue to provide a vital community service to young people in the area. This evening’s event is about celebrating this new space and the greatly enhanced opportunities it now offers young people to meet, make friends and take part in structured activities in a safe, modern environment.”

Portadown YMCA were successful in the funding application for a new purpose built youth facility under the Voluntary Youth Capital Scheme.

The Department, through the draft Children and Young People’s Strategy and in alignment with current Education and Youth Work policy, aims to empower children and young people and promote active citizenship. The Strategy recognises the value of youth work in improving outcomes for children and young people, and welcomes the opportunities youth clubs offer outside of school to give young people the chance to develop their abilities and talents.