Mid and East Antrim community groups celebrate funding boost

Philip Thompson, director of Operations, Nicola Fitzsimons, Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful, Catherine Hunter Waste Education officer, Corinne Meekin, Islandmagee Community Development Association, Mayor Cllr Lindsay Millar and Eric Bailey, Islandmagee Community Development Association.
Philip Thompson, director of Operations, Nicola Fitzsimons, Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful, Catherine Hunter Waste Education officer, Corinne Meekin, Islandmagee Community Development Association, Mayor Cllr Lindsay Millar and Eric Bailey, Islandmagee Community Development Association.

Mid and East Antrim community groups, partnerships and trade associations have secured grant funding through a key partnership between Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful and the council.

The ‘Live Here Love Here Small Grants Scheme’ takes a fresh approach to improving the local environment and building a sense of pride in our local communities.

Bill Pollock and David Brown, Brighter Whitehead, Sally Campton, Ashfield and Wesley, Mayor Cllr Lindsay Millar, Claire Thomas, Ashfield and Wesley, Phil Allen, Friends of Bashfordsland Wood and Oakfield Glen and Catherine Hunter, Waste Education officer.

Bill Pollock and David Brown, Brighter Whitehead, Sally Campton, Ashfield and Wesley, Mayor Cllr Lindsay Millar, Claire Thomas, Ashfield and Wesley, Phil Allen, Friends of Bashfordsland Wood and Oakfield Glen and Catherine Hunter, Waste Education officer.

Launched by councils, Northern Ireland Housing Executive, Choice Housing, McDonald’s and Keep Northern Beautiful, it provides support to volunteer projects that:

Use innovative ways to reduce littering and dog fouling.

Improve the way the local environment is looked after, whether urban, rural or coastal.

Contribute to the development of civic pride within a community with a focus on environmental improvement.

Philip Thompson, Director of Operations, Wallace Elder and James Perry, Ahoghill Trader's Association, Bertie McNeilly, Cullybackey Community Partnership, Mayor Cllr Lindsay Millar, Margaret Murphy, Cullybackey Community Partnership, Catherine Hunter, Waste Education Officer and Dessie Dixon, Grange Cross Community Association.

Philip Thompson, Director of Operations, Wallace Elder and James Perry, Ahoghill Trader's Association, Bertie McNeilly, Cullybackey Community Partnership, Mayor Cllr Lindsay Millar, Margaret Murphy, Cullybackey Community Partnership, Catherine Hunter, Waste Education Officer and Dessie Dixon, Grange Cross Community Association.

Grants are available from £500 to £5,000 and are open to volunteer and community groups, all school and third-level education organisations, youth groups and sports clubs.

There was unprecedented interest in the scheme this year with more than 22 groups applying, and total funding requested of £70,000.

A total of13 group projects secured funding, with council contributing £10,000 in the 2018 allocation; five from the Ballymena area, five from Carrickfergus area and three from the Larne area.

The Mayor, Cllr Lindsay Millar, who recently hosted the successful applicants, said: “It is so energising and encouraging to see local community groups avail of council-supported funding opportunities to really make a difference in their local area.

“The level of commitment and drive the groups have shown and the influence they have in their local community is both impressive and heart-warming. I’m excited to see the development of the projects over the coming months and to see residents take ownership and pride in where they live.”

Ballymena groups securing funding include Grange Cross Community Association, Cullybackey Community Partnership, Ahoghill Traders’ Association, Ballymena Base and Connect Ministries.

Carrickfergus groups securing funding include Brighter Whitehead, Carrickfergus Central Primary School, Friends of Bashfordsland and Oakfield Glen LNR, Wesley Court Residents and Woodburn Cultural and Community Group.

Larne groups securing funding include Cairndhu Rowing Club, Islandmagee Community Development Association and Larne Renovation Generation.