West Belfast social enterprise open doors to new takeaway cafe

Published: Tue, 30 Jan 2018
Michael George, Chair of the Poleglass Community Association serves two young customers at the newly refurbished takeaway cafe at the Sally Gardens pitches. The former shipping container has been transformed with funding from our Social Housing Enterprise programme.
Sally Gardens - Michael and 2 boys
A community group in west Belfast is using funds of £1,000 from us to turn an unused shipping container into a takeaway café on the site of a busy sports pitch and play park.
Members of the Poleglass Community Association at Sally Gardens spotted a gap in the market for a catering facility for visitors to the nearby play park and sports pitches. Weekends are a particularly busy time at the site with football players and supporters attending IFA events, as well as families with children using the playpark.   
The group were given a shipping container by the Colin in Bloom gardening project and applied for funds through our Social Housing Enterprise programme to transform it into an outside catering unit.  
Martin Connolly, Sally Gardens Centre Manager said:
“We’re delighted that the £1,000 funding from the Housing Executive has made it possible for us to turn an unused shipping container into a much-needed takeaway café. We plan to have the facility open for football matches, sports events and community fun days. As well as providing a service for visitors to the area, it’s also a major boost for our Community Association. Any profits made will be reinvested, continuing to enrich the social economy of this part of Belfast for the benefit of residents.”
A total of £450,000 has been awarded to groups and individuals in the third round of funding from our Social Housing Enterprise programme.
The scheme was launched in 2015 and offers awards of between £1,000 and £50,000 to individuals and groups who live in Housing Executive areas or offer services to our tenants.
Paul Carland, Social Housing Enterprise Manager said:
“It is very encouraging to see funding from our Social Housing Enterprise programme being put to good use to set up this facility in Poleglass. Investment like this can help individuals and groups living or working in Housing Executive areas to create jobs and deliver much-needed services. The benefits also extend to the people who live and work in these areas, which is so important in creating vibrant communities.”