Derry community centre closed on safety grounds

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A community centre in one of Derry’s most socially deprived areas has been closed after failing a safety assessment.

Sinn Fein councillor Lynn Fleming says people living in the Top of the Hill area of the city are shocked to hear the facility has been shut down.

“The Top of the Hill area is one of high deprivation and already lacking in community facilities without losing the one small community centre situated in the estate.

“I was shocked to hear today that the centre failed a safety impact assessment and will be permanently closed. While the centre was operating on a reduced capacity it was still used by some local groups including the Doire Trasna GAA Club,” she says.

Ms Fleming says she will be seeking an urgent meeting with Derry City Council to explore alternatives and “if it is viable to either replace the centre or bring it back up to the required standard.”

She says the area can not afford to loose a much needed community facility.

“This area needs to have a place in which the community can focus on bringing services and recreation facilities to the local residents.

“I will be working with Geraldine O’Donnell of Top of the Hill 2010 to ensure that as many of the services that have been lost can be recreated through the community support network,” she says.