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Board of International Fund For Ireland approves 35 projects for financial assistance

Published on:  28 Jun 2006

The Board of the International Fund for Ireland met for the 110th time in the Hilton Hotel, Templepatrick, Co Antrim on Thursday, 22nd June 2006 and approved funding in excess of EUR7.5 million (STG5.1 million) for 35 projects in Northern Ireland and the six border counties. Since its inception in 1986, the Fund has granted over EUR750 million (STG500 million) to over 5,700 projects, North and South.

Among the 35 projects granted financial assistance on a cross-border basis or in the six southern border counties were the Donegal/Strabane Heritage Environment Arts, Rural and Tourism (HEART) Project and the Armagh/Monaghan Digital Corridor.

HEART is a cross-border programme between Donegal County Council and Strabane District which will facilitate the strengthening of existing levels of cooperation and partnership between the two areas through the development of projects of mutual benefit. Both nationalist and unionist community groups will be involved in the implementation of this programme and each of the projects undertaken will have strong cross-community themes. The Board of the Fund approved EUR197,750 (STG135,445) towards the HEART Project.

The Armagh/Monaghan Digital Corridor is an innovative cross-border project that will create an unrivalled telecommunications facility in Northern Ireland and the border counties by linking the A: Tek building in Armagh and the M: Tek building in Monaghan. This will provide companies with access to the latest in Information Technology and will allow them to take their enterprises to the next level on the international market. At its meeting, the Board approved EUR160,475 (STG109,941) towards this project.

Under the Fund’s new Community Based Economic Regeneration Programme, the IFI will provide EUR440,000 (STG300,000) to the Lisburn City Centre Management Company toward the development of 960sq.m of retail and office accommodation in an area of Northern Ireland in which investments such as this are badly needed.

The Board of the Fund also approved financial assistance of EUR876,000 (STG600,000) to Ashton Development Centre Limited towards the development of derelict land in Henry Place, an interface area in North Belfast.

As part of the International Fund for Ireland’s new strategic framework, the Board of the Fund approved financial assistance towards an important, innovative and challenging project, Community Work from a Christian Perspective.

Community Work from a Christian Perspective, which was granted financial assistance of EUR175,200 (STG120,000) by the Board, is an amalgamation of faith based community projects working in neighbourhoods associated with fragmentation, exclusion and community conflict and seeks to build strong relationships between the two communities in these areas.

Speaking at the Board meeting, Mr. Denis Rooney, Chairman of the International Fund for Ireland said, “Through projects such as those approved today the International Fund for Ireland continues to work within isolated and marginalised communities on both sides of the border in an effort to make a real and lasting difference both to individual lives and to those of the entire communities. These projects, in line with the new Strategy of the Fund, represent a desire to actively challenge ideas of intolerance and violence in Northern Ireland and the border counties.

The work of the Fund would not be possible without the support of our donors and the Board would like to express its thanks to the contributors to the Fund which include the United States, the European Union, Canada, New Zealand and Australia.”

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