Local groups benefit from Cluster Grants

GROUPS from Rathfriland, Katesbridge, Dromore and Kinallen are among local groups to have received grant aid totalling £83,000 as part of the Southern Peace 3 Cluster’s Animation Programme.

Councillor Charlie Casey, Joint Chair of the Cluster, said, “On behalf of the Cluster I want to welcome this very significant announcement. The Cluster had set a target of 16 groups to be engaged through its Animation Programme and it is tremendous that this target has been more than doubled

“I want to congratulate Denise Girvan from Armagh City and District Council, who co-ordinates the Animation Programme on behalf of the Cluster and the programme delivery agents, Mentor Economic Developments Limited, for achieving this success in a very short time scale. I am particularly pleased to hear that the awards are spread right across the Cluster area and that areas which were previously under-represented in applying for Peace 3 funding are among those which have now been awarded grant aid. I understand there are some particularly innovative and challenging projects which will be delivered over the next few weeks and I look forward to hearing the outcomes of the various projects which have received this grant aid.”

Dr James McCammick, also Joint Chair of the Partnership, added, “This is really good news, firstly for the Cluster, as we were most anxious that this money should reach grassroots projects and it seems as if this has certainly happened but secondly and most importantly, for the groups themselves. I know they have received money but they have also taken part in very large numbers in an intensive Good Relations Training Programme.

“I am sure that the knowledge and information they have gained from this programme will help them in not only delivering the projects for which they have received funding but to progress and deliver more projects which are aimed at addressing sectarianism and racism. Regretfully, both are alive and well here in our society and this Animation Programme is one of a number of tools and approaches the Cluster is using to change attitudes and perceptions and build good relations on the ground. I join with Councillor Casey and all the members of our Partnership in wishing all the groups every success.”