Good Relations project funds now available

Mayor Billy Ashe at the re-opening of the Council's Good Relations Grants Scheme. (Submitted Picture)).
Mayor Billy Ashe at the re-opening of the Council's Good Relations Grants Scheme. (Submitted Picture)).

Grants of up to £2,500 are now available to groups in Ballymena and the wider borough to deliver ‘Good Relations’ work and projects.

Mid and East Antrim Council has just reopened its Good Relations Grant Scheme to support good relations projects and initiatives by constituted groups taking place between April 1 this year and March 31, 2017.

Applications to the Scheme, which has received financial support from OFMDFM, will remain open for six weeks with the closing date for applications being 12pm on Friday, April 29. 

Speaking at its launch, Mid & East Antrim Mayor, Councillor Billy Ashe, said: “This is a great opportunity for groups in Mid and East Antrim to get involved in delivering Good Relations work and projects within our borough.

“Up to £2,500 will be available per group this financial year and Council feels this will be a valuable contribution towards empowering local communities to promote Good Relations work within their areas.

“Good Relations is a legal requirement that places an onus on Council to promote positive relationships between persons of different religious belief, political opinion and racial group.

“This is a further opportunity for Mid and East Antrim Borough Council to develop its Good Relations work around promoting positive relationships, in partnership with communities, who understand their Good Relations issues, and how to address them,” Councillor Ashe said.

The purpose of the Good Relations Grants Scheme is to reflect the ‘Together: Building a United Community’ Strategy which outlines a vision of “a united community, based on equality of opportunity, the desirability of good relations and reconciliation – one which is strengthened by its diversity, where cultural expression is celebrated and embraced and where everyone can live, learn, work and socialise together, free from prejudice, hate and intolerance.

Applications will be scored and as part of the process groups will be asked to clearly link how their application meets one of the four key themes from the Strategy which are - ‘Children and Young People’, ‘Our Shared Community’, ‘Our Safe Community’, and, ‘Cultural Expression’.

The Good Relations grant is 100% funded up to a maximum of £2,500 and this can be applied for through one large application or through a series of smaller applications.

A maximum budget of £40,000 is available for the scheme in this call, however, according to Council, a further call may open later in the year if budget is available. Should the scheme go over-subscribed, Council may reduce the amount offered on a pro-rata basis.

Applications can be made online at www.midandeastantrim.gov.uk/community/grants and hard copy applications are available upon request. Further information can be obtained by contacting the Grants Office on 028 2563 3148 or 028 9335 8240 or emailed to grants@midandeastantrim.gov.uk