ALPHA PROGRAMME FUNDS TRANSFORM LOCAL COMMUNITIES

Maeve Monaghan, NOW Group; Richard Rogers, Groundwork NI; Paula Bradshaw MLA and Paula Quigley, Groundwork NI.

A popular funding initiative designed to improve a diverse range of community and environmental regeneration projects is continuing to invest and deliver change throughout Lisburn and other council areas.

The Alpha Programme was established in 2008 by Alpha Resource Management, which is a dedicated waste management and renewable energy company within the Lagan Group.

It distributes funding through the Landfill Tax Credit Scheme in order to enhance community facilities and wildlife habitats within a 15 mile radius of Mullaghglass Landfill site on the outskirts of Lisburn.

To date over £4m has been invested in 122 projects, all designed to make a positive environmental impact and cultivate community led initiatives.

A wide range of sports clubs, community gardens, play areas and other environmental regeneration projects have benefitted over the years.

Social Enterprise, the NOW Group will invest £50,000 and extend the services at its Hive pop up on Grosvenor Road, which helps those with learning disabilities and disabilities to gain life skills and employment.

This project will include the creation of communal spaces, additional toilet and shower facilities, a kitchen, coffee dock and office space.

Commenting on the success of the programme to date, Liam McDonald, Alpha Resource Management Ltd said:

“Tax on landfill credits were initially introduced to reduce waste and encourage more sustainable methods of waste management.

“We recognised at an early stage that we could develop a programme for the distribution of landfill tax credits at the Mullaghglass site to help support local community initiatives.

“Now in its ninth year, this programme continues to evolve in popularity. Each project really does make a difference for local communities and enhances hidden gems on our local wildlife scene.”

The Alpha Programme is administered by Groundwork NI and currently makes awards to successful groups four times per year following an application process.

The funds are made up of a combination of Landfill Tax Credits and direct contributions from Alpha Resource Management Ltd.

Richard Rogers from Groundwork NI adds; “We were delighted to be able to support this exciting initiative in the centre of Belfast.

“The Hive is already a hub for creativity and social enterprise, and we’re sure this extension will greatly enhance facilities, both for people with learning difficulties and community organisations across Belfast.

“I’d also like to highlight the introduction earlier this year of the Alpha Small Grants Programme.

“This is in addition to the main funding stream and demonstrates that small amounts of capital funding, which boost community amenities and biodiversity projects can make a significant difference.”

Applications for the next round of Alpha Programme funding close on 30th June 2017. 

Anyone considering applying to the Alpha Programme is encouraged to contact Groundwork NI to discuss their application prior to submission. Application forms and a map showing the eligible project area are available from Groundwork NI’s websitewww.groundworkni.org.uk

Newly funded Groups:

  • Dromara GFC (£50,000 towards environmental improvements & new community facilities)
  • Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council (£46,625 towards a wildlife garden in Moira Demesne)
  • NOW Group (£50,000 towards expanding their Grosvenor Road base)
  • Padraig Sairseil CLG (£27,360 towards refurbishing their community hall)
  • St Paul’s GFC (£50,000 towards environmental improvements & new community facilities)
  • Santos FC (£3,066 towards access & facilities enhancements)
  • The Conservation Volunteers (£8,280 towards clearance works at Redburn Country Park)
  • Crumlin United FC (£7,000 towards new goals)
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