New goals are a real keeper for Crumlin United football academy

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Crumlin United is gearing up to offer a summer filled with activities for the whole community thanks to continued support and funding from the popular Alpha Programme.

The club, which attracts over 180 kids to its weekly football academy, has recently completed the second phase of an improvement scheme by installing new goals on its 3G pitch. And the club kicked off proceedings in style with a football tournament involving several local schools including St Joseph’s Primary from the village.

The Alpha Programme distributes funding through the Landfill Tax Credit scheme in order to enhance community facilities and local wildlife spots within a 15 mile radius of Mullaghglass Landfill site on the outskirts of Lisburn.

Crumlin United have been granted £57k of funding since 2015 to improve facilities for the surrounding area.

Geoff Wilson from Crumlin United commented on the latest phase of the project; “The continued support from the Alpha Programme has allowed us to provide a much needed community and leisure hub for local residents.

“The population of Crumlin has steadily increased over the years but unfortunately some of the facilities haven’t been able to update and supply quality services for people. We have successfully plugged that gap here. Our facilities with the help of this funding are now there for all to enjoy and offer a healthier lifestyle as well as space for sport, events and festivals.”

The local football club has worked hard to boost its offering for schools, community groups and the general public over the last two years. The latest funding injection comes through Alpha’s Small Grants Programme. It is designed to support smaller community amenity and biodiversity projects, with between £3k and £10k available.

Facilities at the site now include; new football nets, a 3G pitch and a training room that is used for various purposes including football, Irish dancing, cookery clubs and artwork classes.

The Alpha Programme is administered by Groundwork NI and it awards successful groups four times a year through an application process.

Richard Rogers from Groundwork NI said; “The Programme is now in its tenth year and we have invested over £4 million in a range of projects that are designed to enhance the environment and support local community regeneration initiatives.

“This particular project is a testament to the success of this programme. It showcases how funding can nurture a project from the outset right through to a stage where it plays an important role that benefits the whole community.”