Social Development Minister Nelson McCausland has announced a funding package of £360,000 for three local communities.
The money will be provided by the Northern Ireland Executive and will be distributed through the Department for Social Development’s (DSD) Areas at Risk programme to communities in Carnmoney, New Mossley and Monkstown.
The Minister explained: “The Areas at Risk programme provides assistance to communities that are at risk of social or environmental decline.
“Initiatives which address education, health, youth and unemployment needs may be supported.”
He went on: “This funding will allow residents of all ages from Carnmoney, New Mossley and Monkstown to get involved in activities to help build a stronger community which everyone can feel part of.”
Newtownabbey Borough Council is collaborating with the DSD to deliver the programme.
The council has appointed consultants, Blueprint Development, to develop an action plan that will address identified need across the three areas.
A key element of the consultancy process will be engagement with the local communities and relevant statutory bodies to build consensus on how to optimise development opportunities presented by the availability of the funding package.
Deputy Mayor, Alderman Dineen Walker, added: “I welcome this funding announcement and look forward to the opportunities that it will create.
“The assistance will help build a better future for the communities in these three areas.”
The Areas at Risk programme was launched in June 2006 to provide support to communities outside the Noble 10 per cent indicators of most disadvantaged but at risk of economic, social or environmental decline.
The programme focuses on building social cohesion within areas; confidence in dealing with neighbouring communities and building a wider sense of belonging.