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New £3 million city centre Youthaction development to benefit 2,500 disadvantaged young people

Published on:  20 Jun 2006

A new multi-million pound facility for young people in the heart of Belfast City Centre came another step closer to completion today with a special ‘topping off’ ceremony.

When it opens in early 2007, YouthAction Northern Ireland’s £3 million development in College Square North will provide support services for thousands of disadvantaged and socially excluded young people in a genuinely cross community venue.

The ‘topping off’ of the impressive six storey building was carried out by the Lord O’Neill, President of YouthAction and Denis Rooney, Chairman of the International Fund for Ireland.  On completion, the YouthAction centre will include a Learning Resource Centre, training rooms with a high quality ICT suite and group work rooms for developmental programmes with young people. There will also be a studio/workshop which will provide rehearsal space for Performing Arts and will host local and international Youth Conferences.

This flagship project will house a variety of innovative services for young people aged 10-25 years suffering from exclusion, the impact of community conflict, lack of educational and employment opportunities and those who have not benefited from traditional schemes.

The project is being supported by the International Fund for Ireland, the Department of Education for Northern Ireland, the Community Relations Unit of OFMDFM, Ulster Garden Villages, the Australian Ireland Fund, the Clothworkers Foundation, the Dulverton Trust, the Tudor Trust, Beatrice Laing Trust, Esmee Fairbairn Foundation, the D’Oyly Carte Charitable Trust and the Trusthouse Charitable Foundation.

Speaking at the ‘topping off’ ceremony, the Fund’s Chairman Denis Rooney said, “We are very pleased to be assisting with the development of this huge resource centre to help young people living in some of the most polarised and disadvantaged areas in Northern Ireland.  The project has so far involved many local groups and community-based organisations and once completed, the facility will help support thousands more vulnerable young people.”

June Trimble MBE, Director, YouthAction Northern Ireland said: "Engaging our most disadvantaged young people must be one of the key priorities in terms of building a lasting peace in Northern Ireland.  This centre in Belfast has been a key part of YouthAction’s plans to make a real difference to young people across our community and we are delighted to begin to see our vision for this venue become a

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