Carrick’s new ‘Talk of the Town’ project boosted by £37k grant

A Carrickfergus initative has secured £37,500 to build on the creativity and compassion shown in communities during the Covid-10 pandemic.

Thursday, 1st October 2020, 4:28 pm

Positive Carrickfergus has received the sum from the National Lottery Community Fund to work with residents to listen and share different experiences, narrate and tell their stories and to imagine together what is possible in the future.

The partnership says it will use ‘enquiries’ to invite new thinking and imagination, and support a place to experiment with community and people-led ideas.

Positive Carrickfergus began in 2017 as a Facebook group of people keen to change the narrative around what it saw as “the negative reputation of our town”. Read here

Lee Robb, of Positive Carrickfergus.

Now with almost 5,000 members who are “shaping a more positive story about Carrickfergus and sharing good news stories about our town”, it is ready to announce its six-month ‘Talk of The Town’ project. This, the group points out, is about having lots of conversations about how people live in the town now and how they would like to live in the future.

Lynn McKenzie, Positive Carrickfergus board member, says: “We are really looking forward to getting Talk of the Town off the ground.

“So many of us feel a strong sense of ownership for Carrickfergus and are keen to be part of a creative move towards a healthier community where everyone feels welcome and is able to contribute to the direction our town wants to move in.

“This project will create time and space for all voices to be heard, new initiatives to be discussed

Lynn McKenzie, of Positive Carrickfergus.

and new voices to be heard.”

Positive Carrickfergus is one of 51 organisations across the UK to receive a grant of up to £50,000 through the Emerging Futures Fund.

Cassie Robinson, senior head of UK Funding at the National Lottery Community Fund, said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has presented new challenges to communities across the UK and the National Lottery Community Fund has focused on getting much-needed emergency support out to communities and the sector. But it has also demonstrated the very best of civil society, which has met this huge challenge with creativity, commitment and a desire for change. We are now seeing new ways of doing things that we might not have thought of before. 

“Thanks to National Lottery players, these new grants will support communities to consider how they can face the immediate impact of Covid-19 but also look to the future. The activity conducted by these community groups and organisations will generate learning and insights, and create space and capacity in communities so that they are able to anticipate, imagine and shape the future.”

Through National Lottery players, up to £600 million has been made available to support communities throughout the UK during the coronavirus crisis. To find out more visit


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