New centre a ‘major boost’ for Magilligan

Magilligan Community Centre.
Magilligan Community Centre.

As one of the biggest television shows to hit our screens in the past six years, fans of ‘Game of Thrones’ will be familiar with Derry locations used in filming for the fantasy TV series.

Now, the area where cast and crew of the show are regulars, will soon have a community centre fit for the tourist attraction it has become.

After years of planning, Magilligan is in line for a new £350,000 community centre.

The plan has received approval at council committee level, andjust needs to be ratified at a full Causeway Coast and Glens Borough council meeting later this month.

Magilligan Community Association, established in 1995, set up in a portable building owned by the former Limavady Borough Council. The centre has since been used for numerous community functions and individual hire and forms the centre of the local rural area.

Chairperson of Magilligan Community Association, Alice Conn, said the distinctive blue building on Seacoast Road has served the community well, but it has reached the end of its lifespan.

“A new centre will be fantastic and I think it will be a major boost for local community groups and residents, and provide essential services to the community,” Ms Conn said.

“It will create a truly shared space on a cross community basis, and offer a greater range of services than we do currently. Our current building, well we can’t really encourage new groups to come and use it. We don’t think it’s fair to charge them because we don’t have much storage and there is stuff cluttered around the building. There isn’t the space but, hopefully, the new centre will serve the community in Magilligan well for many years to come.”

Ms Conn said the centre was located along the main coastal route “and when people drive along the Causeway coastal route they see a bit of an eyesore as it currently stands”.

“I think people in Magilligan were almost feeling dejected because we were saying for so long we were getting this new centre and, now it’s a step closer to happening, I can’t wait to see people’s faces when the old one is knocked down and the new building work starts. We are also hoping to open a cafe in it for tourists and residents.

“We need to make sure the building will be sustainable and can generate an income as well.

“We know there will be a lot of hard work,too.”

SDLP MLA Gerry Mullan, a member of Magilligan Community Association for several years, said: “The community centre really is the hub of the community and the committee has been so energetic in their efforts to get this over the line. It’s great news.”