The comment came from Charlie Fisher, programme manager with Development Trust NI, following a presentation in the village to the NI Housing Executive Board on plans by Broughshane & District Community Association (BDCA) for the former police premises - one of Northern Ireland’s first Community Assets Transfer projects - involving social enterprise space and housing.
Board members visited the site last week along with Triangle Housing Association representatives, who are a partner in the development, and Mid & East Antrim Council, who is supporting the project through their ‘Enabling Fund’.
BDCA vice-chair Sandy Wilson said: “This site is a key asset and has immense value to the local community and its future potential in Broughshane. The success of the project is a wonderful example of the value of partnership to achieve a common goal. Our work with Development Trusts NI to realise the Community Asset Transfer, the partnership with the Triangle Housing Association, alongside the financial support Mid & East Antrim Borough Council, is a reflection of how much can be achieved when all partners have a common vision.”
Housing Executive Chair Donald Hoodless, said: “The partnership, led by the Community Association alongside Triangle Housing Association, is formulating proposals to provide a number of social enterprise units and 10 Category 1, Active Elderly (over 55’s) housing units on site.
“Plans will be submitted to Mid & East Antrim Council in the foreseeable future. Funding from the Council, together with loan finance, has helped to secure the former Police Station, with plans in development for a combined housing and community enterprise development.
Mayor Billy Ashe said: “The Council is focused on enabling local communities to realise their business potential and this project, which has secured Council funding is a wonderful reflection of a community with purposeful ambition.”
Charlie Fisher, Development Trust NI, added: “This project is a great example of a community willing to take risks to achieve their vision.”