£317k funding boost for ‘Areas at Risk’

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The Department for Social Development has offered Newtownabbey Borough Council funding of more than £300,000 for its Areas at Risk action plan.

At their monthly meeting on December 23, members were informed that the department has offered the local authority £317,000 to progress community projects in parts of Carnmoney, Monkstown and Mossley.

The Areas At Risk programme is aimed at identifying and intervening in “areas of economic decline”, those at risk of “descending into instability” and interface areas.

Earlier this year the council appointed consultants to analyse socio-economic data and carry out consultation with elected representatives, statutory agencies, local schools, churches, community groups and sports clubs to identify needs and possible projects within each area.

The action plan details projects which can be carried out over the next 15 months to tackle problems such as educational underachievement, drug and alcohol misuse and high levels of unemployment.

“Following completion of the consultation and planning process, the Areas at Risk Newtownabbey Action Plan has passed Economic Appraisal stage within the department, and a letter of offer for programme delivery has been issued to the council for £317,000,” a report presented to Monday night’s meeting explained.

“The programme will support the delivery of a range of intervention and development projects across the three areas at risk (Carnmoney 1, Monkstown 1, Mossley 2 Super Output Areas) between January 2014 and March 2015.

“Members will be updated in due course as projects are established and delivered.”