Efforts are under way to find cash for improvements to a “unique” and almost century-old building at Ballinderry.
Lagan Valley MP Jeffrey Donaldson has thrown his weight behind the Ballinderry War Memorial Hall Committee as it explores funding options for necessary structural work.
To that end the committee, whose members are also eager to raise local awareness of the hall’s availability for community use, recently met with key advisors.
“The meeting was arranged,” a spokesperson said, “by Jeffrey Donaldson MP, who has been of great help and seems very excited about the history behind our hall and is aware of its worsening state and the urgency of our project.
“He invited Paul Mullan of the Heritage Lottery Fund, Brian McKervey of the Northern Ireland Environment Agency and local councillor Thomas Beckett of the DUP.
“The meeting was very helpful to point us in the right direction for the upcoming year.”
Mr Donaldson, meanwhile, said he was hopeful the committee would secure the necessary funds.
“The Ballinderry War Memorial Hall is a very unique building,” he said, “and this has been recognised by the Department of the Environment, who have listed the building because of its architectural significance.
“What is even more unique about this hall is that it is itself a war memorial to those from the Ballinderry district and those from across the community who died, and those who fought, during the war.
“Now the hall is approaching its centenary, a lot of structural work needs to be done to make it fit for its continuing role in offering an excellent meeting place for the wider community.
“We are in discussion with the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Northern Ireland Environment Agency about securing funding for the improvements needed to the hall and I am hopeful the committee will be successful in the application.
“It would be a fitting tribute to the men and women whose served this country and gave their lives for our freedom if we were able to perpetuate their memory through the preservation of this fine war memorial building.”
Anyone interested in booking the hall for community use should contact Graham on 077 5312 1514.