£130k for new Citizens’ Advice centre in Carrickfergus

Cllr Billy Ashe. INCT 13-709-CON
Cllr Billy Ashe. INCT 13-709-CON

Citizens’ Advice Mid and East Antrim is set to benefit from a £130,000 investment in its new location in Carrickfergus.

The project will see a former joiner’s workshop in the Civic Centre grounds converted into an advice centre capable of dealing with an increasing demand from the public for the service.

Work is planned to begin in April with an anticipated completion date around December 2016.

Commenting on the renovations, the Mayor of Mid and East Antrim Borough, Councillor Billy Ashe said: “This means that a valuable service to the community will soon be able to expand with a much more accessible, centrally located facility.”

Council’s Community Planning Directorate agreed late last year to fund the project having been told the existing building at North Street is no longer fit for purpose.

This important resource for the community is currently not able to accommodate additional volunteers, which impacts on service provision and that being planned for the future.

The existing building. MEA pointed out, has also only limited disabled access and is located beside the old town walls with treatment of damp within the building proving problematic.

Michelle Campbell, District manager, Citizens Advice MEA, said: “We would like to thank council for their continued support; this facility will enable us to expand our existing services in Carrickfergus.

“To this end we will recruiting new volunteers to train as advisers, we would ask anyone interested to contact us on 028 9600 1333 for an application pack.”

Citizens’ Advice offers free guidance on a range of issues including debt management.