THE majority of participants who took part in a public consultation on the redevelopment of Girdwood Community Hub would like to see a 25 metre swimming pool at the facility.
A public consultation took place last year over plans for a new indoor sports facility at the site.
A total of 955 responses were issued to the consultation, from 866 residents and 89 local groups/organisations.
The North Belfast News can reveal that an overwhelming majority voted in favour of Option 6 – a 25m swimming pool, 3G pitch changing facility, gym and multi-use sports hall (12 courts) with 1,600 retractable seats. Less than 50 people voted for no change to the current facilities.
Over 600 people said swimming would be the one activity they would use the facilities for, closely followed by general fitness (use of gym) and indoor football.
80.7 per cent of people said they would likely use Girdwood under the proposed plans for a new indoor sports facility.
Responding to the North Belfast News as the results of the Girdwood Hub Community Hub consultation emerged, Sinn Féin Oldpark councillor JJ Magee said: “Firstly I wish to thank everyone that engaged in this vitally important community consultation about the future shape of the Girdwood complex.
“The vast majority of respondents were local people from the BT14 and BT15 areas and therefore those most likely to use the facilities when completed.
“There is clearly a level of frustration as to how long these major investment projects take to be completed however, these results demonstrate real progress towards delivering a top quality leisure facility.
“We wish to see a modern, accessible and state-of-the-art facility that is open to all, delivered as soon as possible and we will work tirelessly to ensure that vision is realised.
“There will be further consultations in the time ahead and I’d encourage people to have your say on these occasions.
“The style, shape and content of this development remains to be signed off and it’s important that you voice your views on how best to maximise this opportunity.
“Along with my colleagues we will take these results on board and review them in detail.”
A business case completion is now underway, which will then be submitted to the Department for Communities, followed by an update and timeframe.