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£2.4million Torrent Complex Officially Opened in Donaghmore

Published on:  12 Oct 2009

An ambitious initiative by a rural community group reached a fruitful conclusion on Monday 12th October when the Torrent Complex was officially opened in Donaghmore, County Tyrone. Over 200 representatives from community, celebrity and political backgrounds attended an opening ceremony at the Complex which is already serving its community with an action packed programme of events and activities.

The £2.4million Torrent Complex project was the foresight of a group of hard working community volunteers under the umbrella organisation known as DDCA – Donaghmore District Community Association. The end result is an arts, business and sports centre which is now home to St Patrick’s Youth Club, Lollipop Playgroup, Bardic Theatre, St Patrick’s GFC and boasts office space, conference facilities, a multi sports complex and a state of the art gym.

The project was funded by Sport NI, DSD Modernisation Fund, International Fund for Ireland, Dungannon and South Tyrone Borough Council and DETI.

Mayor Councillor Robert Mulligan welcomed guests to the event. He said: “As a Council we greatly welcome ‘The Torrent Complex’ and the Business, Arts and Sporting opportunities it will generate. I congratulate Donaghmore District Community Association for its endless work in securing funding from various bodies to bring the scheme to fruition and I know they won’t stop there! Affordable business units, Sports and Arts programmes will go far in regenerating the local economy and broadening the horizons of all who avail of the opportunities that will be provided."

Speaking on their involvement in the project Paddy Turnbull, Board Member of Sport Northern Ireland, commented: “Sport Northern Ireland is committed to providing opportunities for people to participate in sport. Quality accessible facilities are essential in encouraging people of all ages and abilities to take part in regular physical activity and sport. This investment demonstrates Sport Northern Ireland’s commitment to improving and creating new facilities which will help support increased participation and to develop sporting talent. I believe the new multi-purpose community centre will place sports development and physical activity at the centre of the community.”

Sandy Smith, Joint Director General of the International Fund for Ireland admired the commitment of those individuals involved in the project. He said: The International Fund for Ireland is keen to support projects such as The Torrent Complex, which will have a positive and lasting impact long after the Fund ceases to exist.

The Fund could not pursue its aims of promoting economic, educational and social advance and building community infrastructure throughout the island of Ireland without committed individuals and organisations like DDCA – ultimately, it is the vision, enthusiasm and commitment of funded organisations which helps us to secure successful outcomes.

Paul Carr from DETI commented: "I am delighted to have been given the opportunity to participate in the official opening of the Torrent Valley Complex, and am pleased that the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment (DETI) has been able to provide part funding towards the workspace element of the development under the EU Peace II Programme.

This investment in economic infrastructure, with the assistance of Peace II funding, will help stimulate growth, develop potential, create jobs and facilitate skills acquisition. In so doing, it will contribute towards increased investment and employment opportunities for local people."

World champion boxer Katie Taylor, actor Dan Gordon and Donaghmore native and TV business entrepreneur Gary McCausland were also on hand to declare the building officially opened. The occasion was marked with a choreographed display by local schoolchildren with help from the Wild Geese Parachute Team.

Dera Cahalane, Chair of DDCA believes the Torrent Complex marks a historical occasion for the people of Donaghmore and District. She said: “This is a day that will be remembered in Donaghmore for a very long time. It is a delight to see so many user groups involved in the opening ceremony of a building that will no doubt serve its community long into the future.”

The opening celebrations continue until 17th October with planned events including a schools sports tournament, the launch of ImagineAction Childrens Theatre and Arts programme by Beam Creative Network,  an Evening of Music and Song featuring Malachi Cush and guests on Thursday 15th, a performance of JB Keane’s The Field at Bardic Theatre on Friday 16th and a Family Fun Day on Saturday 17th.

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