New Rathfern community hub officially opens

George Thompson, chairman of Rathfern's Social Activities Centre with the new Cairn at the new RAF memorial.INNT 22-420-RM
George Thompson, chairman of Rathfern's Social Activities Centre with the new Cairn at the new RAF memorial.INNT 22-420-RM

The new Rafthfern Social Activities Centre will officially open its doors to the public this Saturday, June 1 with a family fun day.

Over £370,000 has been spent on the refurbishment of the centre which boasts many new facilities including a dance studio with a sprung floor.

The centre will first open on working days, but the hope is that it will open seven days a week and run by the public.

George Thompson, chair of the Rathfern Social Activities Centre explained: “We want the community to be the driving force behind what happens here.

“It’s their facility and we want them to have the biggest say in how it’s run.”

He went on: “The old centre was a wreck that was falling to pieces and the refurbishment work has transformed it. It is a real asset for the Rathfern and wider communities.

“We have archery clubs, Irish dancing, five-a-side football even changing facilities for walkers. It is a real multi-purpose facility that can have any number of uses, and all affordable.

“We believe that there is no where like this in all of Newtownabbey.”

George thanked all who helped make the refurbishment a reality. And on Saturday a cairn and plaque will be unveiled to mark the deaths of three RAF men who died when their plane crashed into Carnmoney Hill during the Second World War.