Community projects in Monkstown and New Mossley are to benefit from a £250,000 funding package.
The money, awarded by Spirit of 2012 as part of the 2014 Commonwealth Games legacy, will be directed towards community-driven initiatives over the next three years.
The Monkstown/New Mossley project, led by Monkstown Boxing Club, is one of only two in Northern Ireland to be selected for funding under the ‘Fourteen’ programme.
Details of the funding package were announced at the Cashel Drive club on Monday morning (January 19). Among those who attended the launch event were Commonwealth Games gold medallist Paddy Barnes and Mayor Thomas Hogg.
A total of 14 projects across the UK will share £3.5million of Big Lottery Spirit of 2012 funding for local initiatives aimed at tackling disadvantage through sport, physical activity, culture and the arts, volunteering and social action.
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 in both areas.
Angila Chada, Executive Director of Springboard Opportunities, commented: “This unique programme will not only keep the legacy of the Commonwealth Games alive but will encourage communities to embrace the legacy values of participation, inspiration, equality and humanity to the benefit of everyone across Northern Ireland.”
Paul Johnston, project manager at Monkstown Boxing Club, described the funding announcement as “a fantastic good news story.”
While the money will go towards a range of projects encompassing sport, culture, arts and other themes, the club itself is planning to expand its Box Clever and Kid Gloves programmes to help more children and young people who are struggling with education fulfil their potential.
“We have seen first hand the impact Big Lottery funding has had for our Box Clever programme in helping some of those hard-to-reach young people turn their lives around, so it is fantastic and I really do see it making a long-term impact over the next three years,” Mr Johnston added.
A steering group will now 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.
• Read more in this week’s Times (on sale January 21)