Alex Easton MLA has received an update on the Proposed Multi-Function Centre for Kilcooley through a Northern Ireland Assembly Question.
Speaking today Alex Easton MLA said:
“Having arranged an initial meeting with the DETI Minister Arlene Foster with representatives of the Kilcooley Community Forum, it was important to find out what had developed since that meeting to try and push the proposed Multi-Function Centre for Kilcooley onto the next stage. As we can see the proposal have now reached the economic appraisal stage and is being looked at by DSD economists on a without prejudice basis. I would fully praise the work of the Kilcooley Community Forum for being the driving force and for getting the project to this stage. I will continue to push this project forward as best I can, in what has the potential to transform Kilcooley into a meca for retail, leisure, commercial, health and community and a shining example for the rest of Northern Ireland.”
From: firstname.lastname@example.org [mailto:email@example.com] Sent: 22 October 2014 17:12 To: Easton, Alex Subject: Written Answer AQW 37074/11-15 – Proposed Multi-Function Centre for Kilcooley
To ask the Minister of Enterprise, Trade and Investment for an update on the proposed Multi-Function Centre for Kilcooley. Following our meeting with representatives of the Kilcooley Community Forum on 7th April, it was agreed that Invest NI should, as an immediate action, meet with the Department of Social Development (DSD) in order to better understand the DSD position in respect of the proposed Multi Function Centre. This meeting took place on 16th April when DSD advised that on completion of the project’s economic appraisal, if a potential viable project emerged, DSD would work with the Forum to take the project forward to other potential funders. Invest NI arranged a follow up meeting on 3rd June with the Forum representatives, DSD was also in attendance. The purpose of the meeting was for DSD to restate the position in respect of the Multi Function Centre, to gain an update on potential new developments from the Forum representatives, and for Invest NI to reflect on potential support around social enterprise and youth entrepreneurship. Interest in the latter was linked to the existing youth programme in the area. Follow up correspondence from Invest NI to the Partnership representatives restated the potential support from Invest NI. DSD have advised that the economic appraisal, funded by DSD and North Down Borough Council, was completed recently and is currently being considered by DSD economists on a without prejudice basis. The appraisal identifies as its preferred option a facility comprising retail, leisure, commercial, health and community elements, to be taken forward on a phased basis at an initial estimated cost of £5.2million and an eventual overall cost of around £6.2million. Given the scale of the proposal it would require a cocktail of funding from a number of agencies which have yet to be identified. In respect of wider engagement with groups in the Kilcooley area, it is encouraging that the Kilcooley Women’s Centre is participating on Invest NI’s Social Entrepreneurship Programme. It joined the programme in June and is investigating social enterprise ideas for the following areas: Childcare Retail / Post Office Catering Training Provision The Centre’s application reflected a demand for affordable childcare in the area, and also that they would be considering the other elements should the proposed Multi Function Centre materialise.