Work has commenced on a new sports Pavilion, worth over £600,000, at Kells Playing Fields on Station Road.
The site currently has one grass pitch and one Multi Use Games Area pitch and the facilities are heavily used.
As part of a consultation process with the local Kells and Connor community, a village plan was developed for the area which identified the need for new and improved facilities as one of its key priorities.
Funding of £471,284 has been secured through the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs EU Rural Development Programme 2014-2020 Village Renewal Scheme for the provision of a new Pavilion.
The new single storey pavilion will provide modern facilities including changing rooms, toilet facilities, first aid room, meeting room, and storage and plant rooms.
Additional car parking will also be provided adjacent to the Pavilion and pedestrian access from the Station Road will be upgraded to improve accessibility by the community.
The project commenced in February and is expected to complete in early Summer.
Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Councillor Maureen Morrow, said: “This project will provide the benefit of increased physical activity options in the Kells area by creating a pavilion at the existing playing field. It will improve the village’s amenities and environment for the benefit of the local community and visitors to the area.”
Highlighting the benefits the funding will bring, Anne Currie, from the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs, said: “I am delighted to be here today as the Kells Pavilion project gets underway. This Council-led project has been successful in receiving funding under the Department’s Village Renewal Scheme.
“Villages are at the heart of our rural communities and this is one of a number of projects that Council is taking forward to make improvements in its villages across the Borough.
“Council has now received almost £3 million of support under the Village Renewal Scheme to help local rural villages and communities in the Mid and East Antrim area grow and develop. I look forward to seeing more of these projects being delivered in the coming months.”
Chairperson of Kells & Connor Community Improvement Association, David Grant, said: “The new pavilion is a very welcome project for the community of Kells & Connor.
“I am delighted a promise for many years is now being fulfilled.It completes our suite of football and sporting facilities for this area and I would like to thank DAERA, the council, their officers and also Connor church for their long term commitment to the delivery of this project.”
Mid and East Antrim Borough Council have been developing projects under the Department’s Village Renewal Scheme for over two years and 18 villages in total will benefit from almost £3 million of funding.