Future of Clonduff Community Centre in Question

Green Party councilor Ross Brown has today, Wednesday, February 10, 2016, raised concerns that a community centre in Clonduff may be demolished to make way for a new leisure centre development.

Belfast City Council has agreed to build a new leisure centre to replace the Robinson Centre and has agreed to give design consideration to integrating the community facilities within the leisure centre.

In stating his opposition to integrating the community and leisure centres, Green Party Councillor Ross Brown says,

“In the last few weeks there have been two very well attended public meetings where concerns have been raised about the future of Clonduff Community Centre.

“It is clear the citizens in this area are not prepared to sacrifice their community facilities, without any guarantee of a replacement which will meet their needs.

“Council staff has been consulting with people on what they would like to see in a new leisure centre. Nevertheless, I am worried that a budget has not been earmarked for any new community centre that is not integrated into the new leisure complex.

“Although £20m has been set aside for the leisure redevelopment, there is no agreement any of this can be allocated towards any replacement community facilities.

“The council is currently conducting a review of community services across the city and there is no guarantee that Clonduff would qualify for funding for replacement facilities if the existing centre were demolished.

“While it makes sense to build new community and leisure centres side by side, community facilities must remain distinct and I strongly oppose their integration into centre run by a business.

“Having worked previously in community services, I appreciate the importance people put on access to facilities and activities at rates which are affordable and local and on a space where they are comfortable.

“Clonduff community centre is a home for the people in this area.

“I am very worried that elected representatives from other parties are prepared to endorse its integration into the new leisure complex and I would urge the community to make their voice heard on this issue.

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