Funding Boost for Local Councils

Thursday, 21 March 2024


The Special EU Programmes Body has today announced €13,588,835.63 of funding awards for two local councils through the PEACEPLUS Programme. Derry City & Strabane District Council have been allocated €9,254,427.63 and Cavan County Council will receive €4,334,408.00.

The funding will support a wide and diverse range of projects, aimed at addressing local challenges and promoting peace and prosperity across the two council areas.

This is the first announcement of funding from the “Co-designed Local Community Action Plans” strand of the PEACEPLUS Programme.

All local authorities within Northern Ireland and the border region will receive PEACEPLUS funding, with each Council being charged to design a programme of local investment, aimed at addressing specific local challenges, in collaboration with residents and organisations within their area.

“Local solutions for local challenges”

In developing their PEACEPLUS proposal, Cavan County Council held 10 public meetings, developed an online survey, and met with several focus groups to ensure meaningful participation was afforded to all the citizens of Cavan.

The objective of this process was to create a focused, community driven solution that addresses the challenges identified at local level. The consultation process led to the development of 27 projects that will support peaceful and thriving communities, remove barriers to community integration and cohesion, within the three themes of Community Regeneration and Transformation: Thriving and Peaceful Communities; and Celebrating Cultural Diversity.

A total of 9,715 participants will actively contribute in purposeful, meaningful, and sustained contact between people from other communities, cultural and political backgrounds. This will enable cross-community interaction and collaboration across a broad range of areas including arts and culture; sport; and social innovation and enterprise.

The total project cost is just over €4m and is a 5-year project starting 2023 and ending in 2027.

“Spearheaded by residents”

The goal of Derry City and Strabane District Council’s Action Plan is to empower community connections, spearheaded by residents, fostering initiatives to promote lasting peace and reconciliation across the council area.

The Action Plan’s co-design process empowered residents to select priority peace focussed projects most appropriate to their locality. The process resulted in 58 localised community relations projects across the seven District Electoral Areas (DEAs) within the council. 

A total of 9,255 participants will take part in projects that will support peace and reconciliation and contribute to community cohesion. The Action Plan will also increase the number of shared spaces and cross-community activities across the entire District.

The total project cost is €9.25m and is a 4-year project starting 2024 and ending in 2027.

Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD 

“I very much welcome the continued roll-out of funding under the new PEACEPLUS Programme, including the announcement of funding approved for the Derry City and Strabane District Council and Cavan County Council under Investment Area 1.1 Co-Designed Local Community PEACE Action Plans. I would like to commend everyone involved in the consultation and development of these tremendous Action Plans.

I am delighted that my Department will be an Accountable Department for this Investment Area and I look forward to supporting these essential plans in each of the local authority areas and working with all parties including the Special EU Programmes Body and The Executive Office in Northern Ireland to ensure their delivery for the benefit of all.

This funding will facilitate local community regeneration and transformation by allowing local authorities and their communities to self-determine, develop and deliver priority projects and initiatives on a cross community basis, promoting peace and reconciliation within their local authority area.

I wish every local authority success in their endeavours”.

First Minister Michelle O’Neill

“I am delighted to welcome today’s announcement of funding for the council-led action plans under the PEACEPLUS Programme. This funding will build on the work of PEACE IV and allow councils to deliver projects which can address specific challenges in their local areas. It will bring regeneration and transformation to our shared spaces, and help build peaceful and respectful communities where all our cultural identities can be celebrated through a range of exciting projects. I wish the councils every success with the delivery of the action plan.”

Deputy First Minister Emma Little-Pengelly

“This welcome investment reflects The Executive Office’s commitment to creating a more peaceful, inclusive and prosperous society for everyone. This funding will enable communities to work with their councils to address a range of local challenges through the implementation of a varied programme of projects that will help to build mutual respect and understanding, and promote peace and prosperity in their communities and beyond. I look forward to seeing the positive impact this funding will have on all the communities involved.”

SEUPB CEO Gina McIntyre

“We are delighted to support the first two completed PEACEPLUS Local Action Plans. These diverse programmes of work are truly representative of our new approach which ensures that the projects supported through local councils are responsive to local needs and challenges. These projects have been co-designed with residents and groups, with the focus on building peace and prosperity at a grass roots level. We look forward to watching the impact these projects will have at a local level.”

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