Community renewal schemes abound

A HIGHLY effective community regeneration scheme was set up by Coleraine Borough Council in 2009 more than a year before filming began yet there’s been no mention of the project’s success in the opening programmes.

In July of 2009 the local authority launched the Coleraine Neighbourhood Renewal Partnership to tackle poverty and image problems in areas like Ballysally.

The scheme had two main goals: to give residents better access to services and opportunities “which could effect a better quality of life and prospects” and to improve “the environment and the image of the most deprived neighbourhoods so that these become attractive places to live and invest in.”

Since that time, the project has spawned the introduction of a healthy eating cafe which acts as a meeting place for locals, a drugs and alcohol outreach programme, a family nurturing scheme, education in the community, youth clubs, church programmes, a schooling initiative for kids with social problems, adult literacy classes, a senior citizens’ club and even computer skills training.

Funding applications to Council and Stormont for additional projects are already in the pipeline and include a “Beat the Boss” style project involving local businesses and pupils from nearby schools.