Over £1.255 million invested in preserving and revitalizing community assets across Northern Ireland. Ballypitmave Community Development Trust receives £300,000 for a ground-breaking cross-community sports facility. COF funding ensures the protection and enhancement of heritage assets, community buildings, arts spaces, and sports facilities.
Today, the Community Ownership Fund (COF) announces a significant investment of £1.255 million in Northern Ireland, rescuing and revitalizing five community treasures. This transformative funding, part of the UK Government’s levelling up initiative, will safeguard cherished local spaces for the benefit of current and future generations.
The recipients of this crucial support include:
The Ballypitmave initiative, developed by Loch Mór Dál gCais and Crewe United, represents a unique collaboration between a community-led hurling and camogie club and an established soccer club. Their £300,000 COF investment will propel their shared vision of creating a center for football, hurling, and camogie, setting a new standard for cross-community sports facilities in Northern Ireland.
Margaret McCabe and Neil McNickle of Ballypitmave expressed gratitude for the COF funding as well as the Department for Communities long-term support, recognising it as a key factor in their success. They are now targeting Peace Plus investment to further develop their ground-breaking sports facility.
Charlie Fisher, CEO at Development Trusts NI, emphasized the vital role community assets play in Northern Ireland, stating, “Our communities are saving our built heritage, developing our arts centers, and our sports facilities.” He welcomed the COF’s support, highlighting the need for political recognition and investment opportunities.
Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Michael Gove, applauded the transformative impact of community investments, stating, “The Community Ownership Fund is about restoring pride in the places people call home, and I’m delighted to be funding these projects.”
UK Government minister for Levelling Up, Jacob Young, expressed enthusiasm for supporting 72 projects across the UK, with almost £25 million in levelling up funding directly benefiting community groups.
The COF’s next funding window is now open for bids until 31 January 2024, encouraging projects to apply for up to £2 million. For more information, visit www.gov.uk/government/publications/community-ownership-fund-prospectus/community-ownership-fund-prospectus 3.
For a detailed list of projects awarded in the Community Ownership Fund Round 3, Window 2, please visit : https://www.gov.uk/guidance/community-ownership-fund-first-round-successful-bidders#full-publication-update-history
Development support for applicants is available via the My Community website.