Council secures funding from the European Union’s PEACE IV Programme
£3.3M funding for peace projects
The funding will be used for the delivery of the local PEACE IV Action Plan, which includes 17 projects that aim to support peace and reconciliation across the borough.
Alderman Angus Carson, Chair of the PEACE IV Partnership, commented: “It is a great pleasure to have this opportunity to meet with some of the groups that will be delivering the projects we have been able to support through PEACE IV funding. I have no doubt that each one will make a significant contribution to promoting positive relations and celebrating cultural diversity and it is very encouraging to see that the benefits will be felt by so many across our borough - the young, and the not so young and those living in our towns and rural communities.”
Vice Chair of the PEACE IV Partnership, Janette McNulty, commented: “It’s great that we are now seeing the project work commencing. We may be two decades away from the signing of the Good Friday agreement but this shouldn’t make us complacent. We need to cherish and build upon the good work established under previous peace partnerships. The aim of the projects chosen for Ards and North Down under PEACE IV is to do just that by bringing together lots of different communities, groups and agencies to work in partnership to encourage greater levels of cooperation, understanding and reconciliation across the borough.”
One of the projects to receive funding is Kilcooley Women’s Centre to deliver a programme of accredited, community based training programmes to support personal development, soft pathways to employment and further education, primarily in areas of educational disadvantage.
Emma Mooney, Head of International Projects and Impact for Kilcooley Women’s Centre said:
“We are delighted to be able to work with a range of partners, namely County Down Rural Network, Ards Development Bureau and the Scout Association to be able to deliver a new and innovative training programme throughout the borough as part of the Councils Peace IV programme. The variety of training on offer ensures there is something for everyone, increasing the transferrable skills of participants as well as strengthening community relations and partnerships.
Another project granted funding is a community based arts programme for the Ards Peninsula to include people from middle Eastern European countries, primarily Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia and the local Jewish community. Managed by the Institute by Conflict Research, the programme will explore the Peninsula’s diverse culture and heritage by building arts, crafts and communication skills through local, regional and cross border activities.
Dr Neil Jarman, the Director of the Institute for Conflict Research commented:
“We are delighted to be working the length and breadth of the Peninsula on the “Arts at the Heart” programme.
The programme participants will be involved in performances and visual arts events associated to the rich and diverse histories of the Peninsula including that of the Ulster Scots, the United Irishmen, the Jewish refugees to Millisle and the Polish Airmen in Ballywalter. The creation of six pieces of public art will reflect the area’s culture and maritime heritage and we will be working with artists to make high quality legacy pieces that raise awareness of migration to and from the Peninsula.”
A Capacity Building and Youth Leadership Programme, which will be run by NI Youth Forum, has also been awarded funding. The project will work with young people aged 12-24 years to enable them to become active citizens and contribute to a more shared society through a targeted programme of activities, including participation in local youth forums, workshops and a cross border residential.
Phil Glennon, Head of Operations for NIYF stated, “We think this a tremendous opportunity to bolster youth participation across the Borough, working closely with key stakeholders and youth providers, it will create a platform for young people to influence decision makers and advocate for other young people on issues that are important to young people”.
Todds leap has also successfully achieved funding to deliver two schemes. The first is a Primary School (out of hours) active diversity programme that will create opportunities for young people to take part in mass participation events such as a multi skills sports festivals.
The second is a cross community sports and Good Relations programme that will develop young people’s skills through sport, including non-traditional sports where social, communication and listening skills will be developed in a fun and safe environment. The programme will build friendships and promote diversity and good relations.
Pauline Quinn, Director for Todds Leap:
“Todds Leap are delighted to have been awarded both these contracts. We will be engaging with lots of primary schools and local youth and sporting clubs in the area and hope to meet with them soon. This is a fantastic opportunity which has been awarded to the community by Peace IV and administered by the council and Todds Leap look forward encouraging and providing good relations and sporting activities to all!”
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