Chinese centre to be approved
Council set to approve site for community and resource centre

A site on Stranmillis Embankment for the proposed Chinese Community and Resource Centre looks set to be approved by Belfast council.

The original choice, Donegall Pass, was rejected last year after open hostility to the development from local residents and political representatives.

Now, in a move welcomed by many local politicians, the resource centre will be given a twenty-five year lease after planning permission was finally agreed.

A relieved Anna Lo of the Chinese Welfare Association commended the swiftness of the decision in the light of previous difficulties.

"We’re really pleased that this is going ahead. I think that it sends a very clear and strong message to the whole of Northern Ireland.

"This is not just a victory for the Chinese community, but for everyone here. It is a vital step in promoting cultural awareness."

Laganbank councillor, Peter O’Neill, who sat on the client services committee which approved the go-ahead, lent his support to the venture.

"This is a community that has born the brunt of racist abuse for a number of years now.

"As the oldest and largest ethnic community in the north, it is outrageous that they haven not have this provision up until now.

"I believe that it will enrich the Stranmillis area and South Belfast as a whole."
The Chinese Welfare Association are planning to have the centre ready for use by the autumn.

Journalist:: Staff Reporter

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