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PEACEPLUS is a new cross-border funding Programme supported by the European Union, the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the Government of Ireland, and the Northern Ireland administration.
The Programme is designed to support peace and prosperity across Northern Ireland and the border counties of Ireland, building upon the work of the previous PEACE and INTERREG Programmes.
As the PEACE IV and INTERREG VA Programmes come to an end, the European Commission have made provision for a new PEACEPLUS Programme. The new Programme will continue the commitments made by the Commission, the UK Government and the Irish Government to support peace and reconciliation.
The programme has been divided into six themes. Each new programme aims to address longstanding social and economic challenges which have and continue to impact our communities. Within each theme there are several investment areas - these will have a more specific focus and target specific organisations such as local authorities or community groups.
There are 22 investment areas in total, more information about this can be found in the PEACEPLUS Overview document.
Focussing on local councils, organisations and people from every community working together peacefully. The aim of Theme 1 is to unite communities, help them rebuild and learn from a difficult past. Projects under this theme will help community groups grow stronger, work better together and create spaces for all to share.
This theme focuses on small businesses and technology. The aim is to connect people by finding new ways to do things using technology, the internet and learning new skills. Projects under Theme 2 can also help unite communities using technology.
Children and young people aged 14-24 do not often get the chance to join in good things. Theme 3 will help to increase diversity by bringing different communities together. There will also be a focus on mental health and wellbeing - issues that are increasingly affecting young people today.
Research has shown that social, economic and environmental factors can influence our health. Theme 4 focuses on rural communities and aims to help those who are dealing with the legacy of the Troubles. The intention is also to bring health and social care services together and support people to live independently in their own community.
Environment and conservation are key for Theme 5. It will focus on land, coastlines and the wildlife within Northern Ireland and the border counties. Projects are also working to improve cross-border transport links between north and south of the border.
Whilst the INTERREG VA and PEACE IV Programmes have made significant contributions cementing cross-border collaboration, challenges persist and some of them have arisen in the last number of years. These projects will help organisations on all sides of the community interact, communicate and learn together.
The documents below outline the overall objectives of the PEACEPLUS Funding Programme and the rationale for selecting the Programme's various funding themes and investment areas.