The overall redevelopment project includes a major extension at Rathfern Social Activity Centre - a Council facility managed by Rathfern Community Regeneration Group Ltd - as well as path upgrades, drainage improvements to the pond and new platforms and fencing around the pond.
Improvement work on the paths began on 18 July and is due to last four weeks. While public access to the pond is not possible during these works, access to Carnmoney Hill has been maintained.
Meanwhile, construction on the community centre extension began in February, and once completed will see the doubling of the current internal floor space, a new reception area and entrance area, additional storage, a new youth club hall, a new dance studio, a ‘changing places’ facility, 14 car parking spaces including three accessible parking bays and new landscaping and lighting.
This extension will facilitate the expanding youth club by enabling them to run up to four nights per week and the popular playgroup will also be able to extend their hours of operation. Other plans for the use of the new space will include new youth, community and training projects to meet the demand of the local community.
Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey Alderman Stephen Ross said:
“Once completed, these improvement works at Carnmoney Hill Nature Reserve will further enhance this attractive location for visitors, while the new facilities at the community centre will be a major boon for the local community.”
The project has full planning approval from the Council and both the community centre and Woodland Trust were fully consulted in all proposed works.