Improved Knocknagin Hall will become community hub

Gerard Walls chair of the Knocknagin Hall Committee; Clr Sean Mc Peake Chair of Mid-Ulster District Council;  Harry Loane; Clr Sean Clarke, Chair of Mid-Ulster Rural Development Partnership; Austin Kelly LAG member, as Harry Loane  cut the ribbon to officially open Desertmartin Community and Learning Hub.
Gerard Walls chair of the Knocknagin Hall Committee; Clr Sean Mc Peake Chair of Mid-Ulster District Council; Harry Loane; Clr Sean Clarke, Chair of Mid-Ulster Rural Development Partnership; Austin Kelly LAG member, as Harry Loane cut the ribbon to officially open Desertmartin Community and Learning Hub.

There was a good turnout for the recent opening of the newly improved hall facilities at Knocknagin near Desertmartin.

The work was part funded under Priority 6 (LEADER) of the Northern Ireland Rural Development Programme 2014-2020 by the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs and the European Union.

Present on the day were Harry Loane, Michael James McGuigan and Sam Bradley who were able to re-live some old memories working voluntarily as young men at the building of the hall back in 1954.

Also among those present were Clr Sean Clarke, Chair of Mid-Ulster Rural Development Partnership Local Action Group, Clr Sean Mc Peake Chair of Mid-Ulster District Council and Austin Kelly LAG member, who along with Gerard Walls chair of the Knocknagin Hall Committee joined Harry Loane as he cut the ribbon to officially open the hall.

The event was attended by both the young and not so young, who were delighted and highly impressed with the improvements. They were able to view and participate in some of the present activities, as well as receive information and a preview of the newly planned services and activities the committee plan to introduce with the extra space available, such as; Advice N I, Chiropodist, A sewing/ Knitting/Crochet Club, Drama classes, Health & Well-Being Classes.

In July of 2017 the Committee were elated to find out they were successful in their application to Mid Ulster Rural Development Partnership for Rural Development Programme funding of £111,587.

This coupled with match funding from Mid Ulster District Council and an interest free loan from the local community allowed essential works to commence.

The development will enable the committee to develop the hall into a Community and Learning Hub improving the social infrastructure of the community and will improve access to basic services targeting those that are most disadvantaged including the elderly.

Knocknagin Hall Committee would like to thank the Mid Ulster Rural Development Partnership and Mid Ulster District Council for awarding funding this project, as without their financial support, the hall would have eventually closed.

The committee also wish to recognise the work of the main contractor, Sean McGlone; architect, Paul Moran and Damian and Declan from AD Chartered Surveyors for their professional help and assistance.