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Newry Women’s Aid centre given £350,000 to improve facilities.

The UK Government Minister for Housing and Homelessness, Felicity Buchan, visited a Women’s Aid centre in Northern Ireland on Thursday 9 May which is being regenerated with vital government funding. 

Women’s Aid Armagh Down provides essential support and accommodation to women and children affected by domestic violence in the local community. 
Their centre in Newry was given £350,000 from the third round of the Government’s Community Ownership fund to breathe new life into its buildings, so that local people can continue to get the support they need.    
The Minister heard about the development of a new service, the ELEOS Programme, which is being supported by the funding. The programme will make a real difference to the lives of young people, by supporting them to improve their personal development and relationship building skills.   
The £150 million Community Ownership Fund helps community organisations to maintain more spaces and services, protecting vital community assets and putting them into local ownership they are around for generations to come.  
 Minister Buchan, UK Government Minister for housing and homelessness, said:  
“Organisations like Women’s Aid provide crucial help for their local communities, and it’s been great to see how the ELEOS Programme will support young people of Newry to build skills and take their place in society.   
“We’ll continue to fund vital projects like this through our £150 million Community Ownership Fund, so that we can protect these vital places and help community groups carry out important work for local people.” 
Eileen Murphy, CEO, Women’s Aid Armagh Down said, 
“We were delighted to welcome Minister Buchan to Women’s Aid Armagh Down to announce funding from the Community Ownership Fund. 
“The ELEOS project, which will see a Centre of Excellence for domestic abuse and support established in Newry, requires more than £2 million investment. The £300,000 capital investment and £50,000 revenue from the Community Ownership Fund is a fantastic start to our fundraising efforts. We are very grateful to Minister Buchan’s department for this support. 
“The ELEOS project will provide early intervention for women and children at risk in domestic abuse situations. It will make a phenomenal difference in the future of domestic abuse service delivery.”
The Minister also visited two more projects being supported by Levelling Up funding. This included a visit to Kilcoo in County Down, where £195,000 from the Community Ownership fund has given local people the chance to buy and renovate a parish hall which has been part of the community since 1895, so that the community can continue to benefit from it.  
This was followed by a visit to Camlough Lake, where the Government has invested £2.8m from the Levelling Up Fund to create a new recreation centre. This will deliver a new sports facility which will give local people new opportunities, improve their health and wellbeing and boost tourism.    
This funding is part of £435million the Government is investing in Northern Ireland from its levelling up funds to spread opportunity and boost prosperity in our communities.