Orange Order Receives £4m EU Grants

The Orange Order is set to receive about £4m of grants from an EU peace programme.

The funding will be used to develop the Order's headquarters at Schomberg House in Belfast and Sloan's House, Loughgall, County Antrim.

The development at Schomberg House will include a museum, while Sloan's House will benefit from an extension for an extra museum exhibition area.

The museum at Schomberg House will host various artefacts relating to the history of Orange culture around the world.

Grand Master of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland, Edward Stevenson, said: "The aim of this transformational project is to create understanding, education, tolerance and mutual respect through interpretation and creation of shared space.
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"The creation of two unique educational and resource centres will tell the story of the foundation of the institution as well as its traditions, development and place in wider society.

"Such world-class developments at both Schomberg House and Sloan's House will also preserve and present the impressive historical collections of the Orange Order in a form that will encourage an informative and engaging learning process."

Pat Colgan, chief executive of the Special EU Programmes Body, said the project would "promote a greater awareness of the history and traditions of the Orange Order.

"By pro-actively reaching out to people, on a cross-community basis, the Order will be able to demystify many of the existing perceptions of what it is.

"This open and honest dialogue will lead to a positive understanding of Orangeism and its place within our society," he said.

The Department for Social Development in Northern Ireland and the Department of the Environment in the Republic of Ireland have matched the funding.


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