New Grace Family Centre nearing completion
6 Feb 2020
Families in north Belfast will soon benefit from the new £2.162 million Grace Family Centre on Alliance Avenue, with construction at an advanced stage.
The purpose-built, two-storey centre which is set to open in late summer will provide families with childcare for up to 60 children, a counselling suite, a multi-functional training suite, a café and office space. It will also be the new permanent home for Grace Women’s Development Limited, which has provided vital services for women and their families in the area since 1984.
Belfast City Council is investing £1.464 million in the new state-of-the-art facility, with £553,000 funding coming from the Department for Communities and a further £145,000 investment from The Executive Office’s Urban Villages Initiative.
Speaking at a sneak peek preview of the new building, Alderman Brian Kingston, Chair of Belfast City Council’s Strategic Policy and Resources Committee, said: “I’m delighted to see construction work progressing so well on this outstanding new community asset for the city and the north Belfast area in particular.
“The new facilities will have a huge impact on the lives of local women and their families when it opens later this year, enabling Grace Women’s Development Limited to offer a wider range of learning and training opportunities that promote personal development, health and wellbeing.
“Construction of the centre is only possible due to vital funding through our Belfast Investment Fund (BIF) which aims to encourage partners to co-invest in projects that develop or regenerate facilities for people who live in, invest in or visit our city. To date, BIF has allocated £28.2 million to 18 projects as part of the council’s wider £325 million physical investment programme, which includes over 350 projects across the city.
“This investment supports the goals of the Belfast Agenda, our local community plan, by making a significant contribution to the city’s economy, creating jobs, improving our neighbourhoods and supporting our residents, in particular, those facing challenges.”
Minister for the Department for Communities, Deirdre Hargey, said: “As Minister for Communities, my absolute focus is to stand up for and support the most disadvantaged in society.
“My Department has been supporting Grace Women’s Development Limited for many years through the Neighbourhood Renewal Fund to deliver community development and relations programmes, health and well-being initiatives and educational and training opportunities in disadvantaged areas.
“This new facility will be vital for this community by enabling them to the build on their success to date and offer a wider range of services which will benefit local women, their families and the wider community.”