New-look ‘Academy Hub’ community facility opens in Mallusk

Jackie Quinn, Councillor Matthew Magill, Mayor Thomas Hogg, Alison Johnston, Richard Gregory, Deputy Mayor John Blair and Councillor Paul Michael at the official opening of the new Academy Hub, Mallusk. INNT 07-500-SO
Jackie Quinn, Councillor Matthew Magill, Mayor Thomas Hogg, Alison Johnston, Richard Gregory, Deputy Mayor John Blair and Councillor Paul Michael at the official opening of the new Academy Hub, Mallusk. INNT 07-500-SO

Mayor Thomas Hogg visited Mallusk on Saturday morning for the official opening of the area’s new community facility, the Academy Hub.

Also in attendance at the event were local councillors, community representatives, Hub officials and facility users.

Personal trainer Stephen Phillips, organiser of the Tuesday and Saturday fitness boot camps at the Academy Hub, with Gillian Meikle and Alana McLean. INNT 07-503-SO Pics by Shirley O'Neill

Personal trainer Stephen Phillips, organiser of the Tuesday and Saturday fitness boot camps at the Academy Hub, with Gillian Meikle and Alana McLean. INNT 07-503-SO Pics by Shirley O'Neill

Over the past few years officials at the Academy Sports Club have been working with the local community and the council to transform the building and open it up to the people of Mallusk.

A number of improvements to the building and site have been implemented and a recent grant of £50,000 from the council to the Mallusk Village Improvement Consortium has enabled significant improvements to the large sports/community hall, including the installation of a heating system. This now means the hall can be used all year round for sports and community events, school and playgroup events and private functions.

Furthermore, a new management arrangement has transformed the facility from private sports club premises into a community hub open to all.

Barry Macaulay, chairman of the newly formed Academy Sports and Community Hub, said: “This grant from the council has enabled us to complete the internal refurbishment of the Hub building. And with representatives from the local community, including Mallusk Community Action Group (MCAG), now having a key role in running the Hub we encourage local people to start using the facilities for socialising, group meetings, sports activities and private functions. There had been a perception that the building was for members only, but this is not the case. It is now effectively a community centre open to all.”

Richard Gregory, chairman of MCAG, who are based at the Hub, added: “We still have a bit of work to do in improving the appearance of the outside area, but basically we now have a fit-for-purpose community centre in the village. This has taken a lot of work but has been achieved through partnership with a number of local groups coming together for a common purpose and the council providing support and resources to make it possible.”

Councillor Hogg praised all those involved in the Academy Hub project, saying their “persistence and hard work” has brought great benefit to the local community.

For more information about the facilities at the Academy Hub and bookings contact Alison Johnston on 07739 808223 or email info@academyhub.co.uk

Information is also available online at www.facebook.com/AcademyHub and www.AcademyHub.co.uk