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International Fund for Ireland approve £3.8 (€4.7) million funding

Published on:  12 Nov 2008

The International Fund for Ireland has approved a further £3.8 million (€4.7million) to support a range of projects to promote integration and reconciliation in Northern Ireland and the Southern border counties.

Among the projects approved for funding is the cost of developing the Shambles interface area in Armagh into a Shared Space that can be used and enjoyed by the whole community in the city.  Funding of £787,045 is being provided to Armagh City & District Council/Armagh Church Forum who will develop the site and deliver a programme of events that will promote the area and encourage cross-community interaction, thereby inspiring good relations among all citizens.

Manorcunningham Community Development Association Ltd. will receive funding of €260,000 (£206,350) towards a community facility to bring together the community of Manorcunningham and the surrounding area for social, recreational and educational activities.  The Association intends to provide a range of sporting activities, drama and dance classes for young people, provide opportunities for senior citizens to interact through a range of classes and activities and build skills and employment opportunities with computer classes.   

Lurgan YMCA will receive £700,000 to develop a new youth and community relations facility for young people on the interface area in Lurgan. The funding will move the organisation from three sites to a single purpose built venue.  A social economy project will be integral to the development to help with generating income.       

Speaking at the International Fund for Ireland’s Board meeting in Newcastle, Co. Down last week, Fund Chairman, Denis Rooney said: “This latest funding announcement is a clear demonstration of the Fund’s continued commitment to supporting the many ground breaking projects which are working to deliver change in the way we live, work, learn and play in Northern Ireland and the Southern border counties.

“Each of the projects we have approved for support today is focused, as we are, on continuing to build a sustainable and lasting peace in our society.  Real progress is being made as we empower individuals and communities to succeed in overcoming their difficulties to achieve genuine cross community integration and reconciliation in Northern Ireland and the Southern border counties. 

“We look forward to seeing the fruits of these investments and sincerely thank our donors for their valued contributions.”         

Funding was also approved to Community Relations in Schools (CRIS) which is to receive £323,066 toward the cost of creating and working with three clusters comprising 18 schools in Antrim, Cookstown and North Belfast to undertake a whole school approach to community relations and to embed this within the ethos of the schools. The project will work with pupils, the staff and management of the schools to build the community relations skills and capacity, build linkages between schools representing different traditions and, by engaging with parents, influence the wider community. 

Other groups to benefit include Riverstown Enterprise Development (Sligo) Ltd and its partner in Northern Ireland, Brookborough & District Development Association who will receive up to €193,838 (£153,839) towards a joint cross-community and cross-border project designed to encourage good relations between the communities in the two areas.

South Armagh Rural Women’s Network (SARWN) in partnership with SAVER/NAVER (South Armagh Victims Encouraging Recognition/ North Armagh Victims Encouraging Recognition) will receive £254,079 to deliver a joint capacity and peace building project that will focus on helping women from different backgrounds in the South and Mid Armagh areas to come together to develop cross-community relationships.

Additional funds were also approved to Landmark East of £32,538 towards the development of a mixed use facility in Ballybeen;£39,631 to Cloona Oasis Business Centre towards the development of enterprise units in Poleglass, Lisburn and £33,637 to Coach House Regeneration Ltd towards workspace units in Darkley, Co. Armagh.

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