O'Boyle Says Newcastle May Share Part of £600,000 Coastal Communities Windfall


THE new Environment Minister Mark H Durkan today announced a £600,000 funding boost for the North’s coastal communities and urged relevant organisations to apply.

The Minister also announced that this Coastal Communities Fund (CCF) has been extended to 2016 and has increased from £500,000 last year to £600,000 this year, a 20% increase.

[caption id="attachment_41663" align="alignleft" width="390"]The new DOE Minister Mark H Durkin has announced a £600,000 package for coastal communities. The new DOE Minister Mark H Durkin has announced a £600,000 package for coastal communities.[/caption]

Since it began in 2012, £950,000 has been made available to coastal communities in Northern Ireland of which £450,000 has been awarded for two projects in Glenarm and Magheramorne. The remaining £500,000 will be awarded in December.

Councillor Carmel O’Boyle said: “I am confident that part of this £600k will be awarded to Newcastle. This will come on top of the £255k  funding that our Newcastle Revitalisation Group recently managed to secure from the DSD for our town.

“I sit on on the Revitalisation Steering Group together with Councillor Desmond Patterson and Councillor Willie Clarke, and we have been successful, in partnership with members of the Newcastle Chamber  in attracting the DSD funding. Grants of over £50k will be available from the CCF for projects lasting over two years, so you can be sure that we will be pursing this opportunity on behalf of Newcastle which is challenging all the other main seaside towns around the coast of Northern Ireland.”

Speaking after the announcement, Minister Mark H Durkan said: “A further £600,000 for investment in our coastal communities is a real boost for these areas. These communities play a vital role in the North, contributing to our wider community and economy.

“Successful bids for the CCF funding will be creative and innovative projects that will tap into new business opportunities, create jobs and provide training and new skills that will benefit the whole community.

“I urge our coastal communities to start getting their bids ready now so that they are ready when nominations open next spring. Being prepared will give the best chance to get a share from this £600 000 pot for initiatives that will be a real boost for local projects in their community and unlock the potential of our coastal towns and villages.”

Grants of over £50,000 will be available for projects lasting up to two years. Organisations that can apply include charities; voluntary and community sector organisations; social enterprises, including cooperatives and community ownership initiatives; local councils; development agencies and private sector companies.

The CCF is financed by the Government through the allocation of funding equivalent to 50% of the revenues from the Crown Estate’s marine activities. Rising revenues have meant increased money for Britain and Northern Ireland’s coasts to combat economic decline and create opportunities for people.

The Minister added: “It is right that revenues raised in the North are used to help communities realise their economic potential. It is encouraging to see this support for our much-loved seaside towns along our coast.

“What I and DOE are about is creating a better environment and a stronger economy. Maximising the CCF will help in achieving that goal.”

Successful bids to the CCF are chosen because of their impact on local jobs, training and their ability to drive forward growth. The successful bids for this year’s pot will be announced in December and nominations for year three will open next spring.