Cllr Laura McNamee said: “This centre should be given a second chance because I believe that there are groups in the community that can make this centre a valuable resource.
“East Belfast is crying out for facilities which can be used by groups for positive programmes and activities and this centre provides those facilities. For example, there’s massive potential for a wide range of skills courses and lifelong learning programmes that could be delivered at this venue. This facility also provides a platform for groups to try and positively influence the lives of young people and encourage them to make the most of their potential.
“I know that some Councillors have called for the centre to be closed but I believe that it can have a positive role within the community given the right leadership and vision. This decision should be referred back to the Council to ensure the issue can be debated thoroughly and we can try and stop the closure of the centre.”
Speaking after a lengthy meeting with some of the Connswater Community Centre’s Committee members, Alliance Councillor for Victoria, Mervyn Jones said: “The centre is located in an area of deprivation, and we will be trying to get the centre an extension of their lease at the council meeting on 1 December to enable the problems that have arisen to be worked through. I have met with some members of the centre’s Committee members and they are willing to received help.”