Mid Ulster Council has approved plans for a new multi-million leisure and recreation centre in Coalisland.
The £5million development at Gortgonis will be the largest investment in leisure facilities for a generation, and follows years of campaigning and lobbying by local representatives to improve one of the most deprived areas of the town.
Sinn Fein Assembly candidate Linda Dillon welcomed the council go-ahead. “I and other Sinn Féin representatives look forward to the consultation process commencing which will give the Coalisland community and stakeholders the opportunity to have an input into the new development,” she said.
She urged all parties and individuals to ensure they have their say in the process
“It is only by doing this that the local community can ensure that the development will be fit for purpose,” she said.
The Gortgonis area of the town has long suffered neglect and a lack of investment, and has been plagued by anti-social behaviour at times in the past.
A Health and Social Services report revealed that Coalisland south was one of the most deprived areas in the Southern Trust region, in terms of income, employment and education. The report was completed to help identify health and social need and in planning services.
In 2008, a high spec astro turf pitch was opened in Gortgonis and the lighting was improved to make it safer for the many walkers using the area.