Community Halls Programme

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Communities – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 2:15 pm on 24th January 2017.

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Photo of Paul Givan Paul Givan DUP 2:15 pm, 24th January 2017

The fact that we had 860 applications — it was heavily oversubscribed; we were able to support up to 90 — is a demonstration of the need that exists. When we look at the organisations that were successful, we see that we have 17 churches. Then you have 27 community organisations to which you could not ascribe any particular affiliation, for example, Kilcooley Women's Centre. Then there are other successful organisations such as sports clubs and a Scouts club.

To me, that demonstrates that these are facilities that our community very much values, particularly in rural areas, where, often, the availability of halls is limited. It is churches, Orange halls and other community-based organisations that have these facilities and want to make them available to everyone to use. I think that is something to be encouraged. I hope that, in the future, the scheme can be taken forward in the inclusive way I was able to develop it.