Four special places in Northern Ireland are today celebrating a £1million investment to help shape their future development.
They are the first awards to be made in Northern Ireland through the National Lottery’s ground-breaking Great Place scheme.
The places set to benefit are Clifton House in north Belfast, Bangor in Co Down, Arney River in Co Fermanagh and Coalisland in Co Tyrone.
The funding will allow the communities to explore how their unique heritage can be used to shape the future of these places and help tackle wider issues such as poverty, employment, health and education.
The Great Place scheme responds to the specific needs of local places, placing heritage at the heart of joined-up thinking to create better places for people to live and visit.
In Northern Ireland the innovative programme will help to:
• address inequality, giving everyone the opportunity to experience and be inspired by culture and heritage;
• tackle poverty and stimulate inclusive growth;
• create sustainable partnerships that place culture and heritage at the heart of local plans and strategies;
• build resilience into local heritage and cultural organisations.
Announcing the successful projects, Paul Mullan, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) in Northern Ireland said: “Thanks to National Lottery players, this £1m investment will enable a step-change in thinking as partnerships deliver projects that put heritage and culture at the very heart of their vision for their own future.
“It will bring together new and existing partnerships to explore new ways to utilise the unique heritage of these special places, stimulating regeneration and growth, and helping to address the wider social issues that affect each place.”
The four Great Places are:
• North Belfast Old to New - £237,700
This scheme will focus on one of Belfast’s most historic areas, a one-mile stretch of North Belfast starting in Donegall Street and ending on the Crumlin Road. The area’s unique built heritage and authentic character will be used as a catalyst for sustainable regeneration, with cultural and educational organisations working together to develop a cohesive place-based plan to showcase the heritage of this part of the city.
• Seaside Revival: Bangor-by-the-sea - £210,000
A creative arts programme incorporating activities, events and performances will be used to transform Bangor into a modern seaside destination with a distinct cultural offering. Innovative partnerships will explore new ways to bring the rich history and culture of the town to life, creating opportunities to reimagine the area and stimulate growth.
• The Arney River Heritage Corridor: Connecting Our Communities Through Our Heritage, History and Culture - £270,000
Heritage, culture and outdoor recreation will be used to link the rural and semi-rural communities along the Arney River Heritage Corridor which extends from Cuilcagh Mountain to Lough Erne. The communities of Cleenish, Bellanaleck, Arney, Killesher and Florence Court will be better connected to their local heritage and each other through the creation of new community-led trails, whilst the cultural and natural heritage of the area will be explored and celebrated through a range of activities including archaeological digs summer schools, folklore and rural craft workshops, citizen science and arts activities.
• Coalisland and East Tyrone: The Historical Manufacturing Base of Mid Ulster - £312,100
This scheme will explore the rich manufacturing legacy of the people of Coalisland and East Tyrone. New partnerships will be developed to create opportunities for local people to build skills capacity, revive lost artisan and manufacturing skills and celebrate the area’s industrial manufacturing heritage through the medium of arts and culture.