Derry & Strabane District Council has pledged to help look at ways of addressing a funding shortfall for a new Rosemount Resource Centre building.
SDLP Councillor Shauna Cusack raised the issue at the monthly council meeting on Thursday evening last.
Back in October, 2018, the Department for Communities announced Neighbourhood Renewal Investment funding of £781,836 towards the capital costs of demolishing the old Rosemount Resource Centre and building a new modern community facility.
However, speaking at the meeting, Colr. Cusack said: “The letter of offer, as I understand, is ready and waiting, however, there is a shortfall and without council making up that shortfall the project cannot progress. That has to be done by March 31 so there is urgency with regard to that.
“I believe that council officers have had discussions in connection to that and I was seeking an update. The impact of that not going through on time means that it will have considerable negative impact on the capital project scheme for next year.
“This is a major issue and the community centre has already decanted and is renting premises elsewhere so they are already out of pocket.”
Independent Councillor Sean Carr said: “My information is that further discussions have taken place with the Department and council and a report is coming to committee next week.”
Chief Executive of the Council, John Kelpie, said council had received correspondence from the Resource Centre on February 22 and officer teams were meeting with DfC “to understand the scale of the issue, to understand how that gap could be bridged or whether there are other solutions to it and certainly bringing the knowledge we can to the table.”
Mr. Kelpie said the council has also offered to meet with Rosemount Resource Centre, while pointing out it this a third party building and not a council building: “But we are trying to ascertain the extent of the problem.
“ There is indeed and will be an update report being brought to Health and Communities Committee the week after next,” he confirmed.
The Department said back in October that the new building will house current services and facilities as well as a new Men’s Health Shed, Fishing Club, Reading Club and other ‘Healthy Mind’ programmes.
Planning for the Resource Centre project was approved in May 2018.
The current Resource Centre has been in existence for over 30 years and apart from a small scale refurbishment in the early 1990s the building has been deemed no longer fit for purpose.