‘A FANTASTIC day for Dervock’ was how the chairman of the village’s Community Association greeted the news that a new Community hall has been formally approved.
Construction work on the complex is expected to start within the next few weeks after Ballymoney Borough Council awarded the contract to Maghera Dev. Ltd. whose tender of £1m was accepted at last week’s monthly meeting. The project is expected to take up to 45 weeks.
It has been a long wait for Dervock - the last area of the Borough to get a community hall and the building will follow the same construction models as Stranocum, Balnamore and Ballybogey which were completed last year.
Frankie Cunningham says the village will gain enormous benefit from the project and will fill a vacuum that has proved a burden in the past.
The new building will be sited at Dervock’s playing fields and will dovetail with the existing changing rooms and football pitches. It is also conveniently adjacent to the primary school and a natural corridor between the two will be formed for mutual benefit.
“The new hall will provide plenty of opportunity for everyone in the village and district to use. We have 21 community based groups here and it’s bound to be a thriving centre,” Mr. Cunningham said.
He added: “This is a fantastic day for Dervock and a big boost for the community.”
Mr. Steven Phillips, another prominent member of the Association, said local residents particularly the young people would now have a focus.
“Previously, all they had was the local bus shelter. The provision of a new community hall will go a long way to addressing the shortfall in recreational opportunities,” Mr. Phillips said.
He added: “Collectively we can now move forward. Make no mistake, the hall will be used. We can have summer schemes and I feel this will go a long way to reducing anti-social behaviour.”
Both Mr. Cunningham and Mr. Phillips are grateful for the work put in by the council and, in particular, the input of local councillors.
“We have a proud history in this area and anything we can do to further enhance that will be done,” both stressed.