The allocation of £250,000 for community projects in Monkstown and New Mossley has been welcomed as “a massive opportunity” for the local area.
Details of the Big Lottery Spirit of 2012 funding, secured by Monkstown Boxing Club under the Commonwealth Games legacy ‘Fourteen’ programme, were unveiled earlier this week.
The money will be directed towards a variety of community-led sporting, cultural and educational initiatives over the next three years.
Welcoming the funding allocation, Paul Johnston, project manager at Monkstown Boxing Club, commented: “It’s very rare that you get that amount of investment; you’d normally get small amounts of funding. But to actually have a quarter of a million pounds to come into two areas very much in need of major funding is fantastic.
“At ground level it will be a massive opportunity for organisations to shape how they actually use the money, particularly around young people and some of the social issues that young people face. It’s going to be really fantastic for the area.”
Mayor Thomas Hogg, who attended the funding announcement, said: “It’s great to see the legacy of the 2014 Games actually coming down to community level. This funding of £250,000 is really going to have significant benefit in sporting, social and cultural terms in this area of Newtownabbey.”
Glengormley boxer Paddy Barnes, an Olympic bronze medallist and Commonwealth Games champion, added: “Money is being pumped in through sport and other recreational projects on the back of the legacy of the Glasgow Games, so it’s great that two communities in Northern Ireland have got this funding.”
The announcement was also welcomed by East Antrim MLA Alastair Ross and Cllr John Scott, who congratulated Monkstown Boxing Club on securing such a substantial funding package.
“The club in Monkstown is such an important asset for the local area, and I look forward to the expansion of the facilities and programmes offered to benefit young people,” Mr Ross commented.
Northern Ireland delivery partners for Fourteen, Springboard Opportunities Ltd and Strive NI, will work with Monkstown Boxing Club and other local groups to develop and deliver a range of community-based initiatives over the next three years.
Mr Johnston confirmed that a small steering group will be set up to give local stakeholders an opportunity to come together and have their say about what types of projects they would like to see in each area.
“There is an opportunity for the overarching bodies (Monkstown Boxing Club, New Mossley Community Group and Monkstown Village Centre etc) to talk to and consult with local groups to see what their needs are, what the challenges are facing them and to try and come up with a package to support them over the next three years,” he added.
• Read more about the funding announcement and watch the launch event video by clicking here.