Local ratepayers back NI Hospice rebuild project

Newtownabbey Council has pledged to do what it can to help the Northern Ireland Hospice raise funds for its redevelopment project.

The Hospice, which is currently located at Whiteabbey Hospital, is trying to raise millions of pounds to build a new, modern palliative care facility at its Somerton House site in north Belfast.

Belfast City Council has already pledged its backing for the fundraising effort, and now local councillors have voiced their support. The financial commitment should help the Hospice secure millions of pounds in match funding from an overseas trust.

At their Policy and Governance Committee meeting last week, members were informed that the annual limit for such expenditure, based on the council’s penny product, is £55,000.

They agreed that the council should do whatever it can to help the charity, and endeavour to maximise its donation.

Councillor John Scott claimed that there wouldn’t be a ratepayer in the borough who would be against such a move.

“There is not one family in the whole community that has not been touched by the Hospice and the nursing care it provides,” Cllr Noreen McClelland added.

Councillors were due to take a final decision on how much money to commit to the Hospice Redevelopment Fund at their monthly meeting on Tuesday (May 28).

Read more in next week’s Times...