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166,000 for local environmental projects in Alpha programme

First batch of funding from landfill tax credits scheme at Mullaghaglass

Lagan Valley MP, Jeffrey Donaldson MLA and councillor Ronnie Crawford, Mayor of Lisburn announce funding of 166K for local environment community projects through the Alpha programme.

Lagan Valley MP, Jeffrey Donaldson MLA and councillor Ronnie Crawford, Mayor of Lisburn announce funding of 166K for local environment community projects through the Alpha programme.

OVER 166,000 has been allocated to four environmental and biodiversity projects in the greater Lisburn and Belfast area in the first batch of funding from the Alpha Programme announced at a reception in Lisburn City Council.

Lagan Valley MP, Jeffrey Donaldson and Councillor Ronnie Crawford, Mayor of Lisburn join Thomas McKenna (right) and George Smith (far right) of Crewe Utd in celebrating the club's success in receiving funding from the Alpha Programme. Also pictured is Frank McGlone (left)The four are the first to be given funding through the programme created to distribute landfill tax credits from the Mullaghglass landfill site to environmental and conservation projects within a ten-mile radius of the site.

The successful applicants include the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), the Woodland Trust, Crewe United Football Club in Glenavy and the Glenbank Community Complex in North Belfast.

The Chairman of the Alpha Programme Steering Group, Frank McGlone said: "We have been delighted by the volume and quality of applications we have received to date and as this is an ongoing process we hope that some of the groups who missed out this time may be successful in future rounds of funding.

"It is anticipated that in the region of 250,000 per annum will be available over the next 10 years for environmental and biodiversity projects in the area."

The RSPB secured the funding for its biodiversity project at Portmore Lough which aims to establish the reserve as a centre for lapwing recovery in the Lough Neagh wetlands, improving the habitat and protecting and securing the area for the birds to live and breed.

Alpha Programme Chairman, Frank McGlone (left) and Councillor Ronnie Crawford, Mayor of Lisburn give a helping hand to Michaela Clarke from RSPB who were one of the first organisations to receive funding through the Alpha Programme .Seymour Hill received funding through the Woodland Trust for the development of a 1.5km pathway through the local woodland which will open the area up to a wider range of users, including young people.

Crewe United Football Club in Glenavy received funding for the development of a new sports pitch which should ensure the site is not only in a better condition but also making it more accessible and available for the general public and relevant parties. Currently the Club cannot facilitate the many requests for the use of their facilities due to the poor condition of the pitch and drainage problems. This funding will also enable a wider range of sports to be played on the pitch.

North Belfast's Glenbank Community Complex secured funding for the development of a woodland trail which will involve environmental regeneration of the land beside the complex transforming it into a safe and secure recreational area for local residents, community groups and young people. The Programme, managed by Groundwork NI invites groups to apply for grants that will be allocated to those organisations that can demonstrate that they have the ideas to transform their local surroundings for the better.

For information on the programme, to download the application form and guidance notes or to check the closing dates for submitting application visit www.groundworkni.org.uk All projects must be located within ten miles of the Mullaghglass landfill site at Castlerobin near Lisburn.

This covers the greater Lisburn and Belfast areas, with Crumlin and areas towards Nutts Corner all eligible to apply.

Ulster Star
11/07/2008