Whitemountain Programme celebrates £6m community funding milestone

The recent award of 11 new Whitemountain Programme grants has taken the total funding allocated to community, sporting and biodiversity projects through the programme to over £6m.

The new grantees received their awards at a celebratory event held at LCC Community Trust in Lisburn. Successful projects range from the installation of recycling facilities at Belvoir Players theatre in Belfast to the refurbishment of Saintfield Parish Hall, and from a community garden at Atlas Women’s Centre in Lisburn to the development of a multi-sports facility at Newforge Sports Complex.

Niamh-Anne McNally, Communications Officer at Whitemountain commented, “We’re delighted to pass this major landmark, with some particularly exciting community and sporting projects in this latest round of awards. At Whitemountain we’re very proud of the Programme, and the opportunity it gives us to engage with local communities and promote biodiversity projects.”

In addition Whitemountain used this celebration event to recognise the successes of previously funded projects, with awards presented across four categories – Best Community Sports Project; Best Community Building Refurbishment Project; Best Open Space Improvement Project and Best Small Grant Project. The overall winner was St Francis Primary School in Lurgan, who were rewarded for the success of their Silverwood Squirrel Sanctuary project, a hugely exciting project to breed red squirrels within the school grounds and then release them into the wild at suitable sites across Northern Ireland.

Liam McDonald, Whitemountain’s Finance Director, added, “The Whitemountain Programme is successful primarily because of the efforts of local community groups, sports clubs and environmental organisations, and we wanted to take this opportunity to acknowledge this commitment and hard work through the Whitemountain Awards. It was great to hear from previously funded recipients, and it was a difficult task shortlisting the submissions as there were so many very worthy entries.”

The Whitemountain Programme has supported 189 community and biodiversity projects since it was launched in 2008. It has distributed £6.15m through the Landfill Communities Fund to projects dedicated to bringing positive change to communities within a 15-mile radius of the landfill site at Mullaghglass on the outskirts of Lisburn.  The Programme is managed by Groundwork NI www.groundwork.org.uk/sites/northernireland

Applications for the next round of Whitemountain Programme funding close on Friday 26th July 2019. Anyone considering applying to the Programme is encouraged to contact Richard Rogers at Groundworks NI to discuss their application prior to submission.

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