STRANGFORD DUP MLA Simon Hamilton has officially opened the new North and South Down Resource Centre in Killyleagh.
The centre located at High Street has been funded by the Peace III programme and is the result of collaboration by local community representatives and Ards Community Network.
Speaking at the opening, Simon Hamilton said, “It is a real privilege to be asked to official open the new North and South Down Resource Centre in Killyleagh. The recent history of Killyleagh is littered with the stories of closure of factories and the withdrawal or threat to various public services so it is good to be associated with something positive opening in Killyleagh that will be to the benefit of the local community.
“The socio-economic effects of the decline of traditional industries in Killyleagh is still being felt so the facilities that the new Resource Centre provide are much needed. The ability of the Centre to provide training will be particularly welcome and will be well used by people in Killyleagh.
“My congratulations go to the local community for identifying this need and working alongside Ards Community Network to secure Peace III funding to make their vision a reality. I know from working alongside the Finance Minister Sammy Wilson that Peace III projects are greatly assisting community development across Northern Ireland and it is great to see some funding secured for Killyleagh. I wish everyone involved in the new North and South Down Resource Centre a successful future”.
The North and South Down Resource Centre will provide a training facility for people to engage in ICT work, leadership skills, cross-community development, and will assist with networking across the North Down and Ards areas.
Killyleagh Councillor Billy Walker said, “I welcome this development in Killyleagh. The Ards Community Network has helped the North and South Down Resource Committee get this project off the ground and I recommend all of their efforts.
“When the textile factory closed 20 years ago the then owners set funds aside for a computer training centre to help the workers retrain. But after a few years this pot of money dried up and now we have come full circle with a new centre. It will greatly help the people of the Killyleagh area and help improve their job prospects.”