Coastal communities to benefit from funding boost

A ferry makes its way to Rathlin Island

The Department of Agriculture Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) has announced that £835,000 Coastal Communities Fund support has been awarded to nine projects.

The projects are located along the coast of Northern Ireland, from Limavady in the north west, to Newcastle in the south east.

They are projected to create a total of 55 direct jobs and 212 indirect positions, and attract £500,000 in additional investment from public and private sector sources.

The funding includes support for volunteering and employment opportunities for vulnerable persons, parents or families returning to education, the restoration of a tourist attraction, business units creating employment opportunities, and an environmental apprenticeship scheme.

In announcing the awards, Claire Vincent, Acting Director of Marine and Fisheries Division, said: “I am delighted to announce this significant support towards the development of our communities along the Northern Ireland coast and which will fund a wide range of projects that have been designed and developed by local people and which will create jobs and improve lives, which is consistent with the programme’s objective that coastal communities will experience regeneration and economic growth.

“I congratulate all nine successful applicants in what was a very competitive and heavily subscribed Programme and would wish them every success in the delivery of their projects which will contribute to the creation of 267 jobs in our coastal communities”.

The Coastal Communities Fund (CCF) is financed by the UK Government through income generated from the Crown Estate’s marine assets.

To date, CCF (Rounds 1-4) has invested £3.3million in 19 projects along the Northern Ireland coastline, with grants ranging from £71,000 to £736,000 to help foster sustainable, economic growth and job creation.

The nine projects supported through these current awards (Round 5) are as follows – (Applicant, Project title and CCF funding awarded) :

Roe Valley Enterprises Ltd – Limavady Innovation Hub – £100,000
SERC – Family Learning Together Hub – £99,373
Causeway Enterprise Agency Ltd – Immersive Causeway Experience Programme – £85,600
Whitehead Community Association – King’s Road Regeneration Project – £99,981
Now Project Ltd T/A Now Group – Loaf Pottery Community Project £93,943
Kairos Enterprises – ARK Community Gardens – £96,490
The Conservation Volunteers – Creating Environmental Jobs on the North Coast – £99,042
Rathlin Island Co-operative – Serving the Community – £60,502
Ards & North Down Borough Council – Ballywalter Lime Kilns – £100,000
Total CCF funding awarded – £834,931.

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