15 February 2006

Funding boost for inner city area

BBC

A multi-million pound investment package is unveiled for a loyalist Village area of south Belfast.

The project includes £2.5m for new homes and business units on a derelict site on the Donegall Road. New houses will also be built at Sandy Row.

A £650,000 sports ground and a resource centre are also on the cards.

The funding announcement was made by Social Development Minister David Hanson who said tackling deprivation was a challenge for everyone.

"We have made a good start but there is still much to be done which will require the active engagement and involvement of local residents," he said.

"This exciting package of initiatives will take time to complete but will ultimately bring real and lasting change to people in Sandy Row and the greater Village. "

Mr Hanson announced the package as he officially opened the Tree Project, a timber recycling facility, on the Donegall Road.

'Real improvement'

He outlined plans to develop the former disabled care site on the Donegall Road.

Belfast Improved Housing and the Greater Village Regeneration Trust will be involved in the project to create new homes and small industrial units on the site.

Mr Hanson also said that a new community resource centre would be built on Sandy Row, involving a partnership between Belfast South Community Resources and the private and statutory sectors.

The Department for Social Development's Belfast Regeneration Office has approved funding for a new £650,000 multi-purpose sports ground on a site beside the Charter Youth Club.

Mr Hanson also revealed that two thirds of the actions highlighted in the Sandy Row and Greater Village Reports published last year have been completed or were under way.

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