Thumbs up for ‘fantastic’ cross-community facility

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THE extensive refurbishment of the Barron Hall has turned the historic building into a “first class” community facility.

That was the view of guests at Friday’s official reopening, who were impressed with the transformation of the hall into a bright, modern, welcoming community hub for the Glengormley area.

Pat Hutchinson, District Manager of Newtownabbey Citizens Advice Bureau, which operates an outreach facility at the Barron Hall every Tuesday between 1pm and 5pm, commented: “This is a great facility that is open to everybody in the community and I think it is perceived as being a place for everybody. It is a great location in the centre of Glengormley and we have a lovely office space which is good for us as we are dealing with our clients on a confidential basis.

“It’s better for us than being in the (Glengormley) Pavilion, and since we came back here at the start of July we haven’t had one cancelled appointment. The facility is very well run and it’s working very well for us being back here.”

Anne Watson of Newtownabbey Senior Citizens’ Forum, which is based at the hall, added: “It’s a fantastic facility and it’s badly needed. Our office is here and it’s so handy for people to call in to. It’s ideal for us and it’s great because we can use it for all sorts of events. This is great news for the people who use the hall and the whole community.”

Alliance Party leader and Justice Minister David Ford was one of several senior politicians who attended the launch event.

“I’ve seen some of the good work being done by the Community Relations Forum in the Barron Hall over the years and after all the difficulties of the last two years it’s great to see it reopening and there’s a real positive feel around the place.

“This is an absolutely first class facility and there’s a lot of extremely good work being done here,” he said.

Adding his congratulations to those behind the transformation of the hall, PSNI Area Commander, Chief Inspector Stephen Reid commented: “It’s an absolutely fantastic facility and it’s great to see so many people here coming together to support Kathy (Wolff) and the team in the work that they’re doing and I wish them the very best for the weeks, months and years ahead.”

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