Three communities located in the North West and Fermanagh will have lots to look forward to in 2016 with the announcement that they are to receive Space & Place grants totalling £3 million pounds for Flagship projects which include a new Learning Disability Centre and new parks.
The funding will help the groups provide greater links between the communities in their areas whilst enabling them to develop much-needed new facilities; core aims of the Big Lottery funded Space & Place programme delivered by a consortium including the Community Foundation for Northern Ireland.
This round of grants will see the construction of a new Learning Disability Centre in the North West as well as the development of a range of indoor and outdoor facilities at two sites in Ederney and Kesh villages in Fermanagh. It will also enable the development of Drumahoe District Park which will be located on the site of the old Faughan Valley School.
The Space & Place programme is a £15 million Big Lottery funded capital grants programme which makes grants to help connect communities by making use of underused or difficult space. The consortium is headed up by the Community Foundation for Northern Ireland and includes Groundwork NI, the Rural Community Network, the Public Health Agency, the Northern Ireland Housing Executive and the Northern Ireland Environmental Link.
Destined Ltd; £997,000: A charity established in 2002 to address the needs of people with learning disabilities. It will redevelop the existing Foyle Valley Railway Museum to provide a new North West Learning Disability Centre
Ederney Community Development Trust; £1,000,000: The Trust in partnership with Kesh Development Association will create a new park located between sites at Ederney and Kesh villages. This will include a mountain bike track, walking trails, a community green, allotments and a space for public events. Through the project, both areas will work together to bring greater co-operation between the two villages.
Derry City and Strabane District Council; £1,000,000: A joint initiative with Drumahoe Community Association, the grant will be used to support the development of Drumahoe District Park which will be located on the site of the old Faughan Valley School. Benefitting a wide cross section of the community, the project will include a new play environment, better linkages with Drumahoe pitches as well as a wildflower meadow and walking trail along the River Faughan.
Speaking about the grants, Michael Hughes from Space & Place said: The application process for these flagship grants was highly competitive and we recognise that all the groups who applied put a huge amount of work into their applications to the programme. We know from our experience of previous Space & Place awards, the massively positive difference that these grants can make in communities. The consortium is delighted that these latest projects will continue to help address issues of need and for some, issues of division which fits perfectly with the ethos of the Space & Place programme, said Michael.
Frank Hewitt, the Big Lottery Funds NI Chair said: We understand how important it is for people to have good quality space that allows them to do the things that are important to them. We hope that the three projects getting funding today will make a real difference to the people and communities they live in.