Community covenant marches forward

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Meetings have taken place with local DUP elected representatives and Co-Operation Ireland at Stormont to discuss how best to implement the Community Covenant within the Lisburn and Castlereagh area.

Lagan Valley MP Jeffrey Donaldson said: “I am delighted that Lisburn is out in front in committing the resources that we will need to take advantage of the Community Covenant and to support our Armed Forces and veterans who live within our city.”

Mrs Brenda Hale MLA, who recently met with Peter Sheridan CEO of Co-Operation Ireland and Barry Fennell, hoped that the meeting would prove fruitful in reintroducing the very successful FACE Programme.

She stated: “Whilst it is early days in the life of Lisburn’s Community Covenant, it is imperative to strike when the iron is hot.

“I have supported the FACE programme over the last two years and have seen the importance of ensuring that our army families and local community are not hidden from each other or behind the wire.”

The Community Covenant Grant Scheme was established to support the Community Covenant and to fund local projects that bring together the civilian and armed forces communities.

£30 million, over four years, was set aside to establish the Community Covenant Grant Scheme.

It is now in the third year of this scheme and some £11 million has been allocated to projects supporting the armed forces and their local communities. Currently no money from the fund has been drawn down to help support the military families and communities in Northern Ireland.

LIsburn Councillor, Ben Mallon, who proposed the Community Covenant last week, said, “I was pleased to be the proposer of such an important and valuable scheme and looked forward to working closely with his colleagues to ensure it’s full implementation.”