Five 'shared space' projects share £29m in EU funding
FIVE ‘shared space' projects are share £29m of European money.
The 'Peace IV' funding from the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB) aims to tackle division in communities across Northern Ireland and the border counties.
The chosen projects range from sporting facilities in Belfast and Ballycastle to the development of a ‘magic forest' in Co Tyrone.
SEUPB chief executive Gina McIntyre said: “Each of these projects will be specifically designed so that they can be used by all sections of the community and provide an opportunity for hundreds of thousands of people to mix with someone from a different culture or background.
"Our society still suffers from high levels of division, which is a legacy of the past. Many people lack the confidence to engage positively with someone from a different background or culture, which unfortunately is also passed down from one generation to the next."
Matched funding for each of the projects has been provided by government departments north and south.
The Waterside Shared Village project in Derry has been offered €8m to create a "multi-faceted shared space facility" including a community hub and sports complex.
In south Belfast, €5.8m will go to the Newforge Community Development Trust to develop sporting facilities on a 15-acre site beside the River Lagan and Newforge Lane.
The Ballycastle Shared Services project has also been offered €3.1m to upgrade sports facilities on a shared education campus.
In Co Tyrone, the Connecting Pomeroy project will have €6m to encourage cross-community contacts including the development of a 'magic forest'.
The Monaghan Peace Campus has also been offered €9.5m to create a new shared community space beside the Garda Station on Plantation Road.