Robinson and McGuinness Launch Interface Programme in Partnership with the Atlantic Philanthropies
Resource type: News
Northern Ireland Executive | [ View Original Source (opens in new window) ]
First Minister Rt. Hon Peter D Robinson MLA and deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness MP, MLA today launched a new programme aimed at supporting inter community sharing in disadvantaged and interface areas.
The ‘Contested Space Programme’, which has been established in conjunction with the Atlantic Philanthropies, will provide new funding opportunities for communities dealing with issues prevalent to ‘contested space’ areas.
The programme, for which OFMDFM and Atlantic Philanthropies have each committed £2million, will run until March 2014 and will target six pilot areas.
Welcoming the announcement the First Minister said: “I welcome the launch of this new programme which will provide an opportunity for communities to tackle real issues that create barriers to the Cohesion, Sharing and Integration of neighbouring communities.
“The new funding will provide opportunities for greater levels of shared services across communities and lead to enhanced relations and a better understanding between them.”
The deputy First Minister praised the efforts of those working on the ground to improve community relations. He said: “This important funding opportunity is the first joint programme initiative between OFMDFM and Atlantic Philanthropies. Our partnership approach aims to maximise the funding available to the needs of communities in areas of contested space.
“This is an attractive approach to the shared problems of deprived communities living along interfaces. All shared problems require shared solutions and we believe that this funding will support solutions that deliver for families and children throughout our community.
“Many people are making great efforts to improve relations across the religious divide and this programme will allow more services to be provided in a way which promotes reconciliation and which will provide enhanced opportunities, particularly for young people.”
In welcoming the initiative, Martin O’Brien, Northern Ireland Country Director for the Atlantic Philanthropies said: “This initiative builds on all of the good work already supported to encourage more sharing amongst communities that experience disadvantage and conflict and it provides a real opportunity for communities in contested spaces to actively shape and influence how best to deliver services on a fair and shared basis.”