Co Armagh parish invests over £1m in new community centre

Pictured at the new £1.1million centre are Sheila Donaghy, business manager at Ulster Bank and Reverend Dorothy McVeigh of Annaghmore Parish
Gareth McKeown

A CO Armagh Church of Ireland has invested over £1m in the construction of a new modern parish centre.

The parish of Annaghmore, near Portadown has developed a new £1.1m multi-purpose centre with support from Ulster Bank, which will act as an activities hub for over 220 families in the local community.

The 16,500 sq ft centre features a 5,000 sq ft sports hall, meeting rooms, recreation facilities, a crèche and fully-equipped kitchen. In addition to serving the local community the new facility will also be available as event space for third-party hire and act as a community centre for local youth organisations and sports clubs.

Annaghmore minister, Reverend Dorothy McVeigh said the centre has been built with the future in mind.

“Our parish is a focal point for the local community in the Annaghmore area. In recent years we've seen a substantial increase in the provision of parish services and growth within its organisations. Our community is growing everyday and so too are parish services, so we needed a centre fit for purpose.

“The existing hall was unable to meet the demands of a modern and growing parish, and so the support from Ulster Bank in financing the new centre has enabled us to create a high-spec and functional space available to the community we serve and an asset for the wider geographic area as a high-capacity space available for hire.

“The site has also been developed to account for future growth with space available to the rear of the new centre to house additional facilities including an outdoor play area and sports grounds.”

Sheila Donaghy, business manager at Ulster Bank, added:

“The finance we have provided to the Church of Ireland for the parish centre development in Annaghmore is a unique investment, one where repayment comes directly from the community and on-going fundraising activity through the new centre itself.

“Annaghmore Parish Church has been a longstanding customer with Ulster Bank and we are delighted to have provided finance for the centre which will see the parish and its services grow over the coming years.”

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