Newtownabbey Council has secured over £350,000 of funding from the Department for Social Development for the implementation of its Areas at Risk programme.
Social Development Minister Nelson McCausland confirmed the cash injection for nine local community projects at a launch event in Mossley Mill on Thursday, January 16.
Also in attendance were DSD officials, senior council officers and representatives from each of the initiatives that will benefit from the funding.
The Areas at Risk programme, which was established to identify and intervene in areas at risk of slipping into decline and those with specific problems such as sectarian interfaces, aims to help communities which lack targeted support.
Last year the council appointed consultants to analyse socio-economic data and conduct in-depth research with statutory agencies, schools, community groups, sports clubs and church groups to identify needs and possible projects within the three identified areas at risk, which are parts of Carnmoney, Monkstown and Mossley.
Following completion of the consultation process, an action plan was drawn up detailing the delivery of a range of projects that will be delivered between January, 2014 and March, 2015.
Speaking at the launch, Mr McCausland commented: “The Areas at Risk programme provides assistance to communities that are at risk of social, economic or environmental decline. The funding will allow residents of all ages from the Carnmoney, Monkstown and Mossley areas to get involved in activities that have been developed to help build a stronger and more cohesive community which everyone can feel part of. I want to commend the many community representatives for coming together under this initiative to develop an action plan that will address their needs.
“It is the meeting of local community needs which is the heart of this programme and I am confident that it will play an important part in helping reinvigorate the local community.”
Mayor Fraser Agnew added: “This funding is fantastic news and is hugely welcome, particularly in the borough’s three areas at risk. The assistance will be fundamental in supporting the delivery of intervention and development projects across the identified areas over the next 12-15 months.
“Overall, the funding will enhance community development and participation, therefore providing a positive impact on the local community as a whole.”
Projects which will benefit from the funding are: Positive Futures - Monkstown Boxing Club; Extra Hands - Hollybank Primary School; DAM Project (Diversionary Activity Model) - New Mossley Presbyterian Church and Youth Club; Integrated Community Support Project - Carnmoney Presbyterian Church; Monkstown Language & Literacy Pre-School Project - Tiny Tots Pre-School; Social Cohesion Project - Church of The Good Shepherd (Youth and Craft Clubs); Monkstown Drugs and Alcohol Initiative - Monkstown Community Association; New Mossley Community Renewal Project - New Mossley Community Group and MOSAIC Project - Monkstown Community Forum.
It’s understood that the exact amount of funding being allocated to each of the projects has yet to be finalised.
For more information about the Areas at Risk programme, telephone Connor O’Dornan, Areas at Risk project co-ordinator, on 028 9034 0208 or contact him via email at email@example.com