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First Minister Arlene Foster and Junior Minister Megan Fearon have officially opened the Fermanagh House extension in Enniskillen. The new £920,000 investment to facilities in Fermanagh House from the Northern Ireland Executive Office and the Fermanagh Trust, will provide much needed support to local groups and charities in the Fermanagh area, improving the lives of many local people. Financial support totalling £30,192 was also provided by the Department for Communities from the Neighbourhood Renewal Programme towards furniture and equipment.
Fermanagh House has a proven track record as an effective one stop shop for the community and voluntary sector, making services more accessible for local people. The social enterprise, which includes a range of meeting rooms and office space is owned by local grant-making charity the Fermanagh Trust. Income from the facilities helps the Trust reach even more local groups and charities with grant making.
The new extension to Fermanagh House will ensure demand from a wide range of charities and organisations requiring meeting rooms, counselling space, community education space and office space will be met.
David Bolton, Chairman of the Fermanagh Trust said “The objective of Fermanagh House has always been about making services more accessible for local people. Currently the building is home to 12 charities and hosts over 60 different user groups each month meeting the needs and demands of a wide range of interests. The additional space will ensure we can meet the demand for appropriate office space, conference space and exhibition space in Enniskillen, attracting more organisations to deliver their services in Enniskillen and across Fermanagh. It really is an exciting development and we are grateful for the investment from the Executive Office and the Department for Communities.”
Fermanagh and Omagh District Council are assisting the development of the project by providing a long term lease on the land to facilitate the extension. Cllr Sean Clarke said during the official opening “It is a clear indication of the success of Fermanagh House that such is the demand for its services that the need for an extension to the premises became a priority and I am delighted that Fermanagh Trust will as a result of the new extension, have the ability to develop its ever expanding portfolio of services.”
Officially opening the new facilities, the First Minister Arlene Foster said “I am delighted to officially open this wonderful extension to Fermanagh House, right in the heart of Enniskillen, which will create economic benefits throughout Fermanagh.“This extension, which involved £920,000 of funding from the Northern Ireland Executive and the Fermanagh Trust, will allow local organisations to provide services right across the county and will be a focal point for supporting shared education in rural communities. This project is a credit to all involved and I commend everyone who has stepped forward to play their part in making it a success.”
The project which was designed in conjunction with the local community will provide a base for charities, and community and voluntary organisations.
Junior Minister, Megan Fearon added “The Fermanagh House extension is one of 69 projects benefitting from the Social Investment Fund. It has increased the floor space by over 70% and will house a range of new services and facilities, including a dedicated community education resource and hot desks for regional groups and fledging community initiatives and enterprises wanting a presence in Fermanagh.
“The £80 million Social Investment Fund, along with other Executive programmes, such as the Together Building a United Community strategy, is strategically designed to achieve real, long-lasting and sustainable social benefits for those who need it most. The Executive is committed to regenerate, develop infrastructure and bring economic benefit to all areas, both urban and rural, and this project is helping deliver that in Fermanagh.”