24/03/2016

NI Coastal Community Fund Open To New Applications

The Northern Ireland's Coastal Communities Fund annual report has revealed £2.5 million in funding has helped 11 projects along the Coleraine to Newcastle coast.

Grants ranging from £71,000 to £736,000 have been issued from the fund to help create sustainable economic growth and jobs. Harbour improvements, crafts, fishing, creative foods and building renovations have benefitted from the funding.

Applications for the Fund will reopen this summer and the Environment Minister Mark H Durkan has urged potential applicants to start getting their projects ready.

Minister Durkan said: "The Coastal Communities Fund is a real shot in the arm for our coastal communities boosting their local economies. The Fund is designed to support the economic development of communities along our coasts. It promotes regeneration and sustains economic growth by funding projects that create new jobs as well as safeguard existing jobs.
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"This report highlights some of the local projects, which show just how resourceful our coastal communities are in keeping their towns, villages and islands prosperous and vibrant. I take much pride in being able to assist them by distributing funding that encourages people working together in partnership for the benefit of the whole community.

"Coleraine Harbour is a prime example of this. It has benefitted to the tune of £443,000 from the Fund to improve harbour storage and engineering facilities of 1,500 sq metres. A local company started by two young entrepreneurs, The Skunkworks Surf Company, will be moving in to these new premises from their small workshop in Coleraine. They manufacture their own surf boards and are NI's first surfboard company. They have pitched to Richard Branson and recently won the top place in the Engineering category at Invent 2015, run by the Northern Ireland Science Park. Skunkworks anticipate a capital spend of £500k on equipment and plan to employ 15-18 people over the next three years.

"The Fund re-opens for applications this summer. I urge potential applicants to start getting their projects ready now. What I and DOE are about is building a better environment and a stronger economy. This Fund helps do that."

(MH)

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