News

Enterprising community group and Council give former primary school a new lease of life

Tuesday 6 March 2018

A new community hub and social enterprise will soon be opening its doors in Mid and East Antrim thanks to the efforts of the local community and Council backing.

Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Councillor Paul Reid, pictured at the Braid site

The former Braid Primary School, which closed its doors in 2011, has been leased to Braid Community Association for the provision of a community hub, a much-needed facility for the local residents and self-sustaining social enterprise. 

Through the enabling funding scheme, now headed up by Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, Braid Community Association has led on breathing new life into what was once a vacant and unused facility.

Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Councillor Paul Reid, took in the excellent new facilities first-hand this week.

He said: “This is a wonderful example of how the local community and Council can come together and develop projects that everyone can benefit from.

“Through our recently launched economic strategy for Mid and East Antrim, Amplify, Council aims to nurture the growth of the social enterprise sector to inspire, create and support self-sustainability.

“With the focus on community planning and asset transfer, Council has been proactive in assisting the social enterprise sector to manage their own community facilities.

“Projects such as this provide opportunities for groups such as Braid Community Association to access services, facilities and support at local level.

“This increases sustainability of community service provision and boosts the financial viability of community premises.

“This latest venture will harness a better collective identity for the community and social economy sector.

“It is envisaged that the newly refurbished facility will play host to a number of clubs and societies, creating a place that the local community can gather to enjoy a wide range of activities.

“Income will be generated through room hire, classes and other activities, enabling the group to become self-sustaining.

“The ethos of Community Planning is about Putting People First and this is what we are committed to achieving by supporting initiatives such as this.”

Chair of Braid Community Association, Tom Butler, said: “This project would not have happened if it wasn’t for the support of Mid and East Antrim Borough Council.

“I would like to thank the Council for making this project happen. The community now have a facility that can be used by young and old and will be enjoyed for many years to come.”

For more information on funding schemes and investments in Mid and East Antrim, E: economic.development@midandeastantrim.gov.uk

Photograph: Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Councillor Paul Reid, pictured at the Braid site