Overnight fire at a newly-opened centre for people with learning disabilities in Derry causes 'a lot of internal and smoke damage' to the building

Destined fire

Fire crews were still at the scene of the blaze this morning.

A newly-opened centre in Derry for people with learning disabilities has been badly damaged in an overnight fire.

The blaze broke out at the Learning Disability Centre at Foyle Road in the early hours of this morning.

The centre opened last year in a former railway building.

It is run by local organisation, Destined, who received £1.3m from the Community Foundation to develop the project.

The aim of the new centre was to build the confidence and the social inclusion of people with a learning disability.

It provides state-of-the-art facilities, including meeting rooms and a cafe overlooking the River Foyle.

The cause of the fire is still being investigated and the overall extent of the damage is not yet known.

However, local Sinn Fein councillor Patricia Logue said there was a 'a lot of internal and smoke damage' to the building.

“The centre provides the provision of education, training and employment, as well as social and recreational activities for the learning-disabled community.

"It also just recently opened a lovely new café on the ground floor overlooking the river which is always very busy and well supported by people from right across the city.

“I offer my full support to Dermot and all the staff and users of the services there and hope that they can get things back up and running again as soon as possible."


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