Cookstown’s Rural Community Network to share in £1.2m funding

L-R Catherine Creed, CRIS, Peter Osborne, Chairman of Community Relations Council and Charmain Jones, Rural Community Network.  Over 30 groups tackling sectarianism and promoting understanding across Northern Ireland are sharing in funding from the Community Relations Council.
L-R Catherine Creed, CRIS, Peter Osborne, Chairman of Community Relations Council and Charmain Jones, Rural Community Network. Over 30 groups tackling sectarianism and promoting understanding across Northern Ireland are sharing in funding from the Community Relations Council.

The Rural Community Network, which is based in Cookstown, is to share in funding distributed by the Community Relations Council on behalf of The Executive Office, it has been announced.

The funding is aligned with, and contributes to, the delivery of the NI Executive’s Together: Building a United Community strategy.

Thirty-three groups across Northern Ireland shared in over £1.2million in funding distributed by the Community Relations Council.

Rural Community Network is a regional and voluntary organisation established to articulate the voice of rural communities. It adopts a community development approach to address social exclusion, equality and peacebuilding and to support work towards Building a United Community (TBUC).

The Community Relations Council’s funding will support some of the Rural Community Network’s work in the coming year including representing rural housing needs, developing a range of workshops and civic conversations addressing key community issues and delivering a ‘Beyond Belfast’ rural contested spaces programme.

First Minister, Arlene Foster said: “Northern Ireland is a great place to live and we have come a long way in the last few years. These gains need to be secured and built upon.

“Our community and voluntary organisations are at the grass roots of our society and are ideally placed to help build good relations. This £1.2million funding will go a long way to help make the aims of the Together: Building a United Community strategy a reality, helping us build a stronger, better Northern Ireland”

The deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness said: “Equality of opportunity, good relations and reconciliation will remain at the forefront of the Executive’s work to improve the lives of everyone in the community.

“We are determined to tackle sectarianism, racism and other forms of intolerance.

“The Executive cannot achieve our vision for a shared future alone and it is only by working together we can deliver the better tomorrow we all aspire to. Everyone has a role to play and I have no doubt all the groups receiving this funding will make a real difference and help us to create a society free from division, hate and separation.”

Rural Community Network’s Kate Clifford said, “The Community Relations Council’s funding provides vital support for our work in building better relations and improving understanding.

“We have a busy year planned including challenging and inspiring projects, building linkages and creating and providing opportunities for vital dialogue.”