Two More Local Councils to Receive PEACEPLUS Funding

Tuesday, 28 May 2024
Causeway Coast

Causeway Coast

The Special EU Programmes Body has announced over €10m of funding for two local councils from the €1.14 billion PEACEPLUS Programme. 

The two council’s benefitting from today’s announcement are Causeway Coast and Glens Council who have been allocated €6,777,244.00 and Leitrim County Council who will receive €3,334,009.00.

The funding will support a wide and diverse range of projects, aimed at addressing local challenges and promoting peace and prosperity within each council area. 

This is the second funding announcement under the PEACEPLUS “Co-designed Local Community Action Plans” investment area which supports projects developed and delivered by local councils in collaboration with their local communities. 

In March Derry City & Strabane District Council and Cavan County Council received their awards.

All local authorities within Northern Ireland and the border counties will receive PEACEPLUS funding. Each council must submit a programme of local investment, aimed at addressing specific local challenges, this plan must be designed in collaboration with residents and organisations within their area, and address certain needs such as local regeneration, building positive relations, and celebrating identity and diversity.

Focusing on marginalised communities

A total of 23 individual projects make up the Action Plan, focusing on underrepresented and

marginalised communities, such as:

Older people

  • Women
  • Disaffected and unattached young people
  • The LGBTQIA+ community
  • Refugees and displaced people
  • Those communities who feel they have never benefited from the peace divided
  • People who feel they have been unable to participate due to various limitations

The aim of the Action Plan is to promote good relations between diverse groups of people while also providing the knowledge and tools to support a vibrant and forward-thinking community well into the future.

The implementation and management of the Plan will be led by Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council and will involve a mixed delivery approach consisting of partner delivery, competitive tendering, and some direct delivery by Council Officers. 

Promoting a greater sense of belonging

The overarching objective of the Leitrim County Council Action Plan is to promote a greater sense of belonging, equality, inclusion, and peace for people living in Leitrim.

The Action Plan will provide opportunities for enhanced contact and understanding between

communities, access to training and skills, and establish spaces and platforms for collaborative learning and knowledge-sharing.

The project is committed to fostering collaborative relationships, empowering diverse stakeholders, and creating a supportive and equitable community for all involved.

This Council adopted a co-design process which enabled and empowered individuals to select priority peace and reconciliation projects most appropriate to their locality resulting in 16 localised community relations projects within the three Municipal Districts,

A combined number of 3,334 participants will engage actively in purposeful, meaningful, and sustained contact, fostering cross community and cross border engagement with others from different communities, cultural and political backgrounds. This will create a cohesive society where peace, prosperity and reconciliation take priority.

Welcoming today’s announcement,

First Minister Michelle O’Neill said:

“This funding is very welcome. It will enable delivery of a diverse range of good relations projects, helping to bring people together and promote peace, prosperity and equality across the Causeway Coast and Glens and Leitrim council areas.

"We are committed to creating an inclusive and prosperous society where everyone is valued and treated equally. And I look forward to seeing the initiatives delivered through these action plans making a positive contribution towards that goal.”

Deputy First Minister Emma Little-Pengelly said:

“This funding is a welcome investment that will bring real and lasting benefits for individuals and communities across both council areas. It will enable the local authorities to engage community organisations and residents to deliver a variety of projects to address specific challenges in their local areas.

“These initiatives will help to bring people together and foster improved relations between people from different backgrounds, and I wish both councils every success with the delivery of their action plans.”

Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD said: 

“It brings me great pleasure to learn that funding is approved for a further two Councils, Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council and Leitrim County Council, under the PEACEPLUS Programme’s Investment Area 1.1: Co-Designed Local Community PEACE Action Plans.

"I would like to commend everyone involved in the extensive consultations that were undertaken on the co-design of these marvellous 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.

"By providing this essential funding and empowering local authorities and their communities to choose, develop, and implement cross-community priority projects and activities, this will further support local community regeneration while fostering peace and reconciliation within their local authority area.

"I wish every local authority success in their endeavours”.

SEUPB Chief Executive Gina McIntyre said:

“We are delighted to continue the roll out of the PEACEPLUS “Co-designed Local Community Action Plans”. I congratulate Causeway Coast and Glens Council and Leitrim County Council who have presented very exciting plans for their areas.

"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.”

The PEACEPLUS Programme has been designed to promote peace and prosperity across Northern Ireland and the border counties of Ireland, and has a total value of €1.14 billion, to be delivered over the next five years. The Programme will support a wide range of sectors including health and social care, the protection of the environment, rural regeneration, smart towns and villages, local regeneration and mental health services.

PEACEPLUS is managed by the Special EU Programmes Body and represents a funding partnership between the European Union, the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the Government of Ireland and the Northern Ireland Executive.

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