Northern Ireland

£4,000 spent on vandalism repairs at Belfast centre

A north Belfast business complex has had to spend over £4,000 on repairs in the past six months due to vandalism.

The most recent attack at the McSweeney Centre in the New Lodge area involved £10,000 worth of computers being stolen from a design firm during a break-in.

The Ashton Community Trust oversees the running of the centre, which was built last year at a cost of £1.7m.

Its chief executive Paul Roberts said local people were disgusted at the attacks.

"We do have a repairs budget for the building and we have overstepped that by at least three times," he said.

"We have spent over £4,000 in the last six months and that is excluding the most recent break-in.

"If we are spending money on repairs that could be spent on the local area, then it is local people who are suffering.

"The community is disgusted by this."

Mr Roberts said a number of businesses had moved into the complex from outside the New Lodge, bringing jobs to the area.

He said it had been constructed on a site which had been derelict for more than 20 years.

"The services being delivered are wonderful, it is just unfortunate that we do have these people doing this and it is important the community are expressing their revulsion at it, as they are."