The chairperson of Magilligan Community Association hopes Causeway Council will be sympathetic to their business case calling for a community centre she said the area needs and deserves.
Alice Conn said committee members met recently with staff from Causeway Coast and Glens Council, and she believes “things are looking up”.
A business case is being compiled which Mrs Conn hopes will lead to the green light for a new centre.
“Magilligan is isolated, and public services between Limavady and Magilligan are limited,” said Mrs Conn.
“There is nowhere nearby that can offer the services we can and the services we want to offer. I think a new centre, when we get it, will give people a sense of community pride.”
A spokesperson for Causeway Coast and Glens Council said: “Council officers continue to work with Magilligan Community Association to develop a business plan to ensure the sustainability of the centre as part of the capital project process.”
Alice Conn said last winter the blue portacabin, located in the heart of Magilligan, became so unfit for members of the senior citizen’s Monday Club they were forced to travel to LCDI in Limavady for their luncheon club.
“They were dying to get back to Magilligan,” said Mrs Conn, who said the Association hoped they would have had a new community centre last year given the work that had been completed by the former Limavady Borough Council.
“But it hasn’t happened yet. We’re all volunteers and sometimes it feels as if you’re beating your head against a brick wall,” said Mrs Conn.
A variety of classes are held at the Centre, including craft, bowls, and dancing classes, and are all well attended. She said the demand for other activities, including a youth club, is there but the portacabin isn’t suitable.
She said the Association received funding last year to buy equipment to furnish a new centre but, to date, that equipment is still in boxes.
“It’s disappointing,” she said.
A new centre would also give the Association the opportunity to link with Magilligan Playgroup, which is situated just yards away.
Mrs Conn said there are few places in the area to socialise, but a new centre would provide a “social hub” for people. She said it would also mean the Association could offer more activities.
Mrs Conn added: “The portacabin was second hand when we got it, more than 20 years ago, so we really do need a new building and I’m staying optimistic.”
Mrs Conn added: “Magilligan deserves a new building, very much so.”