Community groups in Carrick are to benefit after a funding boost of £7,000 from the local Policing and Community Safety Partnership.
Greenisland Boys Football Club, Carrickfergus Youth Forum and a number of local churches will each receive a portion of the funding to aid projects tackling anti-social behaviour.
“The money was handed back from Greenisland Boys FC after they found another funding source for the Twilight Football project,” said Carrick PCSP chair Councillor Andrew Wilson.
The PCSP working group on anti-social behaviour and violent crime agreed on the funding re-allocation on Monday afternoon.
Some £5,000 will go towards Carrickfergus Youth Forum to establish a community hub at Marine Gardens.
“The Youth Forum have acquired a bus which will be kitted out and set up as a mobile drop in centre at Marine Gardens.
“The PSNI and groups like CCDAAG [Carrickfergus Community Drugs and Alcohol Advisory Group] will be able to operate out of the hub,” Cllr Wilson added.
“Marine Gardens has been identified as an anti-social behaviour hotspot in the past and this will provide a safe environment for young people and allow the Youth Forum to engage with them.”
Meanwhile, £1,000 of funding will be returned to Greenisland Boys FC to part-finance their youth diversionary project in Spain.
The remaining £1,000 will be distributed amongst local churches to start up a ‘street pastors’ initiative.
“There are about six churches signed up at the moment and I expect that number will increase,” said Cllr Wilson.
“The street pastors initiative is something that has already seen quite a bit of success in the Newtownabbey area where it’s been done on a larger scale. This will allow something similar to get started up in Carrickfergus.
“All funding is to be spent by March 17, and of course, is subject to joint committee approval.
“The funding is aimed at early intervention work within our communities; the Greenisland Boys trip should be a great experience for all involved.
“The community hub at the Marine Gardens will be multi-agency, with local churches, drug and alcohol groups, the PSNI and the youth forum all showing an interest to get involved. This hub also links in with the street pastors initiative.”