The winter market made a welcome return to the Fountain and Bishop Street area interface of the city last weekend in an attempt to encourage continued community relations in the area. The fifth year of the market, which is organised by the Bogside and Brandywell Initiative (BBI), funded through the International Fund for Ireland’s Peace Walls Project is part of a series of activities aimed at building relationships across the community.
The event was supported by a range of partners, including, the International Fund for Ireland, Derry City and Strabane District Council, Northern Ireland Housing Executive, Department for Communities and Urban Villages.
BBI has been responsible for remarkable changes in attitudes as well as changes to the physical environment in the local area. Using a mixture of good relations projects, community development work, resident consultation and partnership working attitudes have changed and relationships developed.
With local tensions rising over the summer with well-documented interface unrest BBI are working with a range of partners to bring the community together through a series of cross-community activities, events and on-going programmes.
Rachel Mullan-Carlin from BBI said:
“We have been working hard to develop an engagement programme that will bring the interface community together, creating festive cheer that local people are confident in participating in. Over a period of two days, we had craft stalls, local school choirs, other live entertainment and Santa’s magical reindeer garden.
“It was great to see so many local people enjoying the activities as well as welcoming our elected representatives from across political parties as well as our partners who have all contributed to making the market what it is”.
Residents from the Fountain and Bishop Street area have worked together over the last 3 months on a range of arts and crafts in preparation for the market. The workshops helped to boost confidence, skills and relations between both communities. Residents sold their handmade products to patrons both local and further afield.
BBI has been working closely with local communities within the city since 2012 through a range of engagement activities. This has resulted in the softening of some barriers such as removal of security grills from people’s homes, and more significantly the temporary opening of a gate that had not been opened in 40 years. People were happy and confident in moving freely in both communities across the interface area.
BBI is supported by the International Fund for Ireland through its Peace Walls Programme, which assists communities to begin building the levels of trust required before starting the process of engaging with statutory authorities about removing physical divisions.
For further information about our funding programmes, or for information on how to apply for funding, please contact the person(s) or organisation(s) identifed at the end of the relevant programme summary in the areas of activity section.
International Fund for Ireland
28-32 Alfred St.
+44 (0)28 9031 2884