16/05/2013

£1.25m For Belfast Community Projects

20 community regeneration projects across Belfast have received funding totalling £1.25m from the City Council.

The funding is part of £5m set aside for the Local Investment Fund (LIF).

Just under £1.3m is earmarked each to the North, South, East and West of the city and a further £490,000 allocated for the Shankill area.

Among the projects receiving support from the funding are new community and sporting facilities, outdoor adventure schemes, support services and heritage trails.

Three schemes were awarded six figure sums, with the largest awards going to Coláiste Feirste, an Irish-speaking secondary school in Beechmount. The school received the maximum of £250,000 towards a new sports building with internal and external handball courts and a climbing wall.

The Springmartin area received £150,000 for the development of a mini soccer pitch with fencing and floodlighting, which will provide for midnight soccer, an over 45s fitness programme and services for three local schools.

Glór na Móna received £112,000 towards the development of an Irish Language Cultural Resource Centre on land adjacent to Whiterock Leisure Centre.

The Lord Mayor said: "Today is a significant milestone in the delivery of Belfast City Council’s Investment Programme. We were conscious that many of our schemes were major citywide projects and we need to invest in smaller local schemes that would make a significant and direct difference to the lives of our ratepayers.

"All the schemes that will receive funding today have been brought forward by council members – and hopefully will underline the importance of elected representatives delivering for their local communities.

Councillor Hargey said: "The first £1.25m of the Local Investment Fund has been distributed around 20 different projects. The schemes range in size and are diverse in terms of content but all have the common purpose of improving quality of life.

"The council’s Investment Programme is about supporting the economy through capital investment, supporting communities and developing job opportunities and training, particularly for the long term unemployed and young people.

"We are investing a total of £150m at no extra cost to our ratepayers, underlined by the fact that we have delivered a rates freeze this year for the first time in living memory.

"Half of the total - £75m - will go into improving council facilities for local communities while other capital investment is supporting major projects, such as the recently completed refurbished Mary Peters Track, the planned new Belfast Welcome Centre for visitors and the extension of the Waterfront Hall to include conference and exhibition space, which is also in the pipeline.”

(IT/MH)


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