Group pictured at the conference held recently in the Waterfoot Hotel.
Derry City and Strabane District’s PEACE IV Board is encouraging local community and voluntary groups interested in accessing funding for peace and reconciliation projects through a new European Union (EU) cross-border programme to sign up this month for an information event.
PEACE Plus is a new EU cross-border programme that will contribute to a more prosperous and stable society in Northern Ireland and the border region of Ireland. The event will take place in the Guildhall on Monday, 20 January, from 6.00pm-8.00pm and all interested groups are invited to attend.
In a recent conference over 60 representatives from PEACE IV Council funded programmes on both sides of the border met in the Waterfoot Hotel.
The event offered the opportunity to share learnings from the current PEACE IV programmes delivered through Derry City and Strabane and Donegal County Councils.
The current PEACE IV EU funded programme runs until December this year and is managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB) with match-funding from the Executive Office NI. “In the current programme we’ve £6.7 million of projects stretching geographically across the Derg, the Sperrins, Strabane, Faughan, Cityside and Waterside,” said Sue Divin, PEACE IV programme manager with Derry and Strabane Council.
She added: ”Conversations around PEACE PLUS are just beginning.
“The upcoming SEUPB led information events are a key opportunity for our local groups to speak up and help shape the new programme.”
The local cross-border conference also featured insightful guest speaker input from Dr. Martin McMullan and Paddy Boyd (Youth Action NI) and Claire Heaney-McKee, The Playhouse Theatre of Witness. “These were really useful perspectives which prompted interesting conver- sations,” said one participant. “Resources provided were useful in considering the best methods to start conversations about peace and the Troubles with young people who do not have significant information or education around it,’ said another.”
The networking event showed a clear consensus that the EU PEACE IV funding in both Council areas (£6.7 million alone in the Derry City and Strabane District Council awrea) is making a significant difference to local community projects working to promote respect, shared space, understanding and reconciliation. Projects at the event discussed what combined messages they may have for the forthcoming PEACE PLUS consultation from both sides of the border and from across urban and rural perspectives.
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