Lottery windfall for Ballymena communities

The National Lottery Community Fund has announced funding to projects in the Mid and East Antrim area with Ballymena organisations receiving over £35,000 alone.

Thursday, 25th November 2021, 7:30 am

It is part of an announcement of £5 million of National Lottery funding to 89 groups across Northern Ireland.

One of the organisations receiving funding is Bann Maine West in Cullybackey.

They are using a £10,000 grant to set up a rural community hub in Maine Business Centre. The hub will be a welcoming space to provide information and offer support, training, workshops, office services and a small community shop.

Groups in Ballymena are awarded funding to improve the wellbeing of the local community

Glenravel Social Committee has been awarded a £750 grant to bring people in the community together to learn and perform a dance which will be filmed, along with interviews, to create a video.

The project will give people an opportunity to reconnect with their community and something to feel proud of.

Also receiving funding in the area are Ballygelly LOL 1098 which is based in a rurally isolated area between Ballymena and Larne, is using a £9,550 grant to upgrade their community hall to ensure that activities can continue to take place there for the whole community.

Another recipient is Safe Spaces for All (formerly Youth in Community) in Ahoghill.

It is using a £10,000 grant to run a pilot programme for a learning and support hub for young people who have self-excluded from mainstream school due to traumas and bullying. The project will reduce social isolation, provide emotional support, learning opportunities, and support them to move back into education, training or gain qualifications.

The Northern Ireland Blind Golf Association and The Mae Murray Foundation, based in Mid and East Antrim, also recently received funding from ‘Places Called Home,’ a UK-wide £1.5m pilot programme from The National Lottery Community Fund and IKEA UK to help people get involved in their community, create shared spaces and promote sustainable living.

The Northern Ireland Blind Golf Association is using a £5,000 grant to set up an art group to increase social opportunities for blind and partially sighted people living in the wider Ballymena area and show that art can be enjoyed by all abilities.

Thanks to National Lottery players more than £30 million a week is raised for good causes across the UK like these.

The vast majority of grants awarded are for smaller amounts of under £10,000, going to the heart of communities to make a big difference.

Paul Sweeney, The National Lottery Community Fund’s Northern Ireland Chair, said: “I’m proud to see the amazing impact that money raised by National Lottery players is having in communities across Northern Ireland.

“This funding is supporting a diverse range of projects, who are meeting the needs in our local communities. I’m looking forward to seeing how these projects help people to rebuild and thrive.”

For more information on National Lottery funding visit the dedicated website at or social media.