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Eur 5.4 million approved funding by International Fund For Ireland

Published on:  05 Mar 2007

The Board of the International Fund for Ireland (IFI) has today announced funding approval of over EUR5.4 million (STG3.8 million) to support a range of new and existing community integration and reconciliation-based projects throughout Northern Ireland and the six Southern border counties.

As part of the announcement, the International Fund for Ireland has approved EUR390,000 (STG267,000) of financial support for a pilot training programme to develop the capacity of the District Policing Partnerships (DPPs) in Northern Ireland to engage with the community.  With funding in place, the pilot training programme will be designed and implemented with the Northern Ireland Policing Board.  The training is intended to develop the capacity of the DPPs to work with the diverse communities in Northern Ireland and assist them in dealing with difficult issues such as sectarianism and racism.  Through joint training, its aim is to enable the DPPs and the community to work with the police to create stronger, safer communities.

Commenting on the International Fund’s decision to approve funding to support community policing in Northern Ireland, Denis Rooney, Chairman, International Fund for Ireland said: “We are particularly pleased to be in a position to support such a worthy and timely proposal.  Low levels of trust and confidence can undermine efforts to establish a healthy civic society and the IFI is committed to supporting efforts to build strong and safe communities.  The pilot programme proposed is an innovative approach designed to equip the members of the DPPs with the necessary skills to work with the community in partnership with the police.”

As part of its latest package of funding, the International Fund for Ireland has also announced its support for nine projects, totalling over EUR2 million (STG1.4 million) under its Building Foundations – Regeneration Programme.  The Programme provides financial support to initiatives that seek to address the root causes of deprivation and unemployment using common economic concerns as a platform for future cross-community activities.  Two new projects to receive funding under the Programme include the Dromboughil Community Association, based in Co. Derry and the South & North Armagh Victims Encouraging Recognition (SAVER/NAVER) – Community Business Enterprise Programme.  

The Dromboughil Community Association will receive EUR146,000 (STG100,000) for a project that involves the demolition of a derelict school building and the construction of a new 2,000 square foot community building.  Accommodation will be provided for a range of craft and IT classes, youth schemes, homework clubs, health clinics and other community activities.  Dromboughil is a deprived rural area on the edge of the Sperrin Mountains that has suffered over the years as a result of the Troubles. The Dromboughil community is determined that the new community centre will bring together a small divided and polarised community by working and engaging together in activities/classes that will promote reconciliation and encourage an appreciation of cultural diversity within the community.

The SAVER/NAVER – Community Business Enterprise Programme, based in Markethill, Co. Armagh, will receive EUR572,000 (STG392,000) to refurbish outbuildings to its existing main building, to provide 4,490 sq ft of workspace consisting of 12 units.  The development will be aimed at small scale arts and crafts businesses, together with a much needed community/youth space facility.  SAVER/NAVER was set up in 2000 as a cross-community, non-political victims support group with the main aim of providing encouragement and support to victims of the Troubles and their families.  The group is dedicated to the promotion of a new understanding of conflict resolution and provides all groups within the community the opportunity for reconciliation, by providing conflict management and support systems with the help of training and education programmes.    

Other organisations and projects receiving additional financial assistance from the International Fund for Ireland are: Holy Family Community Centre Ltd., Drogheda; the Donegal/Strabane HEART project; Monkstown Community Forum, Belfast; Fermanagh Enterprise Agency Workspace Development, based in Enniskillen; and the ENI/CEB Tradelinks Programme, the Environmental Improvement Schemes, and Maximising Community Halls Programme, which are all based in Northern Ireland.

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