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Report highlights peacebuilding successes of Communities in Transition Programme

Published on:  09 Oct 2009

At today’s launch of the Communities in Transition (CiT) Programme Phase 1 evaluation report, speakers discussed approaches for overcoming community tension in areas of weak community infrastructure. The report, profiles the 10 communities that took part in the CiT Programme, and highlights the strides these groups have made in working together.

It also emphasises that to ensure long-term sustainability, a specialist approach is required when supporting communities with high levels of community tension and low levels of community infrastructure through a period of major change and development. The report highlights personal empowerment as being key to the Programme’s successes, and 23 jobs have been created for community members to help support the new infrastructure.

Funded by the International Fund for Ireland and The Atlantic Philanthropies, who have together contributed a total of £3.6m, the CiT Programme Phase 1 has been designed to establish community infrastructure in areas which also suffer from community tension. The Programme was delivered by the Community Foundation for Northern Ireland and started in 2001 in 10 communities – eight in Northern Ireland and two in the southern border counties. A second phase, funded by the International Fund for Ireland began in 2006.

The 10 areas were selected following a process of in-depth research and profiling, taking into account that the application process required by grant-making programmes was often considered prohibitive by such communities.

Denis Rooney CBE, Chairman of the International Fund for Ireland, said: “Bringing together people of different backgrounds is no mean feat. Simply gaining an entry point into these communities can be a challenge and I would like to thank the Community Foundation for Northern Ireland on behalf of the funders for their hard work in realising this goal and meeting the many other challenging objectives set for this Programme, across a range of communities - all with unique needs and differing issues.”

“The evaluation report highlights the need for the innovative, ground-breaking and risk-taking methodology employed in this Programme. It also highlights the need for the Programme to be extended to other areas of weak community infrastructure, and I look forward to hearing about the achievements of the Programme’s second phase at a later date.”

Tony McCusker, Chairperson, Community Foundation for Northern Ireland, said: “When working in areas where community tension is an added dimension, it is clear that local empowerment is key to establishing community infrastructure. The CiT Programme has gone beyond traditional models for building community capacity, by taking a flexible, risk-taking approach. In doing so, the Programme has succeeded in bringing together people from very different backgrounds who would not otherwise have had the opportunity to meet. It has tackled a range of community tensions and social and political issues.”


The 10 communities involved in Phase 1 of the Communities in Transition Programme are:

• Clady and Innisrush (Magherafelt District Council) and Portglenone (Ballymena Borough Council)
• Crumlin, Co. Antrim
• Harpurs Hill estate in Coleraine
• Harryville estate in Ballymena
• The Melmount area of Strabane, including the Ballycolman, Bridge Street, Calverts, Carlton Drive and Lisnafin estates
• Mosside village in the Moyle Council area
• Northlands and Sunnylands estates in Carrickfergus
• Seacourt estate in Larne
• Newtowncunningham village in east Donegal
• Six small villages in rural north Cavan – Redhills, Bunnoe, Drung, Laragh, Stonepark and Stradone.

The 10 communities currently involved in Phase 2 of the Communities in Transition Programme are:

• Annsborough, Co Down
• Craigyhill and Antiville estates in Larne
• Cregagh and Clonduff estates in Castlereagh
• Doury Road estate in Ballymena
• Dromore, Co Down
• Lisanally and Alexander estates in Armagh
• Lisnahull estate in Dungannon
• Parkmore estate in Craigavon
• Queen Street and Avenue Road in Lurgan
• Seapatrick estate in Banbridge

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