1T8A3891 – Pictured at Arellian Nursery School, where a £50,000 grant has been awarded by the Alpha Programme are Heather Pollock, Groundwork NI, pupil, Frankie Boyd and Niamh-Anne of Alpha Resource Management.

TWO south Belfast based projects will benefit from over £55,000 worth of funding thanks to the Alpha Programme following the latest round of funding announcements.

The Alpha Programme has supported a large number of community and bio-diversity projects since it was launched in 2008.

Ten years on, it has distributed almost £5.5 million through the Landfill Communities Fund to projects dedicated to bringing positive change to communities within a 15-mile radius of the landfill site at Mullaghglass on the outskirts of Lisburn.

The Alpha Programme offers support across two tiers; the main grant scheme, where groups can receive up to £50k or the small grant scheme, which is designed to offer support for smaller projects with between £3k and £10k available.

Arellian Nursery School, located off Donegall Road in South Belfast, has been awarded £50,000.The school was first built in 1928, making it the first nursery school in Ireland.

It has a strong community ethos with particularly active parent engagement programmes.

The project will focus on the regeneration of an underused section of the grounds, transforming the space into an adventurous ‘Jungle Garden’. Imaginative play is instrumental for young children’s social, emotional and language development.

This method is now recognised as an essential element of learning by practitioners and researchers, with many of them emphasising the value of imaginative play as the main contributor to a child’s overall development.

Through the small grants scheme, Ballynafeigh Community Development Association will receive £6,513.

The association addresses and tackles issues that impact vulnerable individuals and groups within the community.

Thanks to the Programme, funds will be used to repair the lift at the Ormeau Road premises. Its current state is restricting access for key user groups, particularly those with disabilities or limited mobility, parents with young children and older people.

Speaking about the latest funding package, Niamh-Anne McNally from Alpha Resource Management said:

“Now in its tenth year, the Alpha Programme continues to grow in popularity, we’re seeing more and more applications each quarter. Over the last decade the programme has invested £5.45m in 164 projects. The projects that have been selected are diverse and varied, it’s hugely rewarding to help enhance the great work that is already being carried out.”

The Alpha Programme is managed by Groundwork NI and funding is awarded on a quarterly basis.

Heather Pollock, Acting Chief Executive, Groundwork NI said:

Richard Rogers, Groundwork NI, Katie Hanlon, Director at Ballynafeigh Community Development Association, Emma Pengelly, MLA, Lucy Van Es, Rachel Leonard, Russell Drew, Alpha Resource Management and Máirtín O’Muilleoir MLA are pictured celebrating Ballynafeigh Community Development Association’s success in the latest round of Alpha funding. The £6,513 will be used for the repair of the lift at the premises.

“We are delighted to help Arellian Nursery School develop this exciting new play and learning space. Importantly it will also be accessible to the wider community and other schools. We’re also very happy to continue our support for Ballynafeigh CDA, and help them continue to meet the needs of their many centre users.’

 Applications for the next round of Alpha Programme funding close on Friday 26th October 2018. Anyone considering applying to the Programme is encouraged to contact Richard Rogers who oversees the project for Groundwork NI at to discuss their application prior to submission.

Alpha Resource Management who developed the programme in 2008; is a waste management and green energy company within the Breedon Group.

September 2018 Funding Summary

 Small Grants Awards:

  • Ballynafeigh Community Development Association – ‘We need our lift project,’ £6,513
  • Craigavon City Football Club – ‘Installation of extra toilet facilities at our community facility,’ £9,900
  • Rathlane Care Farm – ‘Lough Neagh Conservation Work,’ £8,100
  • St Paul’s GFC – ‘Storage, Sport & Environmental Improvements,’£10,000

Main Grants Awards:

  • Arellian Nursery School – ‘Arellian Nursery School Jungle Garden,’ £50,000
  • Ballymacash Sports Academy – ‘Phase 1 Development,’ £50,000
  • LCC Community Trust – ‘Refurbishment Work at LCCCT,’ £47,300
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