£50k boost for group’s sculpture park project

Belshaws Quarry Sculpture Park Phase II has been allocated �50,000 by the Alpha Programme. Pictured at the park are Alderman William Leathem with Richard Rogers from The Alpha Programme, Anne McCourt from the NI Environment Agency and John Belshaw of Belshaws Quarry Sculpture Park.
Belshaws Quarry Sculpture Park Phase II has been allocated �50,000 by the Alpha Programme. Pictured at the park are Alderman William Leathem with Richard Rogers from The Alpha Programme, Anne McCourt from the NI Environment Agency and John Belshaw of Belshaws Quarry Sculpture Park.

Whitemountain & District Community Association has secured £50,000 towards the cost of phase two of its sculpture park project at Belshaw’s Quarry, Lisburn.

The money has been secured from the Alpha Programme, which distributes funding through the Landfill Tax Credits scheme to a range of community and biodiversity projects within a 15 mile radius of the landfill site at Mullaghglass.

The local community association plans to build upon the success of phase one of the Belshaw’s Quarry Sculpture Park project with additional pieces of art. The new works will focus on man’s impact on the site and continue to promote it as a visitor attraction.

Alderman William Leathem said: “I am delighted that Whitemountain & District Community Association has received a second grant for Belshaw’s Quarry Sculpture Park. This is a partnership between the local community association and the Northern Ireland Environment Agency and The Alpha Programme, which will benefit many. I would like to commend and congratulate Mr John Belshaw and the committee for overseeing this excellent project and look forward to the opening of phase two of the sculpture park.”

Niamh-Anne McNally from The Alpha Programme said: “We’ve invested over £4.5m in 135 projects over the last 10 years and all are designed to make a positive environmental impact and cultivate community led initiatives. A wide range of sports clubs, community gardens, play areas and other environmental regeneration projects have benefitted through the initiative. We are delighted that our funding continues to make a difference to local communities.”

The Alpha Programme is administered by Groundwork NI and makes awards to successful groups four times per year following an application process.

Richard Rogers from Groundwork NI added: “The first phase of developing Belshaw’s Quarry Nature Reserve as a sculpture park was a great success and we are delighted to be able to support the community in installing four additional pieces of art. We hope that this phase will continue to develop local people’s appreciation of this unique facility and encourage additional visitors from Lisburn and beyond.

“We are also encouraged to see groups applying at all funding levels with innovative ideas. With our expertise we can continue to mentor these projects to ensure they flourish and create a lasting impact for future generations.”

Applications for the next round of Alpha Programme funding close on September 29, 2017.

Application forms and a map showing the eligible project area are available from Groundwork NI’s website - www.groundworkni.org.uk