The PEACE Programme
The PEACE Programme is a distinctive programme part-funded by the European Union through its Structural Funds programme. The full title is the EU Programme for Peace and Reconciliation in Northern Ireland and the Border Region of Ireland. To date, there have been three completed PEACE Programmes (I,II, and III), with PEACE IV currently being implemented. You can read more on the PEACE IV – Programme Overview page on the SEUPB website.
Our role as Accountable Department
This Department and the Department for Rural and Community Development in the Republic of Ireland, are the 'Accountable Departments' within their respective jurisdictions, for Priority 3.1; Shared Spaces – Capital Build. We ensure that Government Accounting NI and Departmental accounting procedures are strictly followed, as well as the relevant national and European regulations.
- the scrutiny of financial and management data provided by SEUPB
- the application of appropriate financial and management control to safeguard public funds
- processing applications for the advancement of monies to ensure that grants are released in accordance with conditions of grant
The Department has a close working relationship with SEUPB, one of the North/South Implementation Bodies established in 1999 and which carries out the role of Managing Authority. The Department is represented on the Programme Monitoring Committee, Steering Committee and Project Boards for individual projects.
Peace IV Programme funded projects
The PEACE IV Programme is a cross-border initiative, financed through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). The 2014-2020 Programme represents an investment of €270m of which €59.4m is allocated to the Shared Spaces (Capital) element, for which DfC fulfils the Accountable Department role. The output target for the Shared Spaces – Capital element was to create eight new shared civic spaces which will be used by all sections of the community and have a transformative effect on the area. With the approval of the Shared Women’s Centre nine projects will now progress to project completion.
Working with the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB) through an open call for applications and a rigorous assessment process, approvals have been issued for over £50.36m (€59.43m) of funding for nine ‘shared space’ projects across Northern Ireland and the Border Counties of Ireland.
The successful projects were:
The Black Mountain Shared Space project, led by Belfast City Council, has been awarded £5.3m in funding. The project will create a shared space facility at the foot of the Black Mountain, Belfast, which will include: indoor leisure facilities, support outdoor recreation and create a dedicated community space.
The project was officially launched at an event on 10 September 2020, at which Gerard Murray, Director of Regional Development, represented the Department.
The Newforge Community Development Trust has been awarded £4.9m in funding to develop and transform a 15-acre site located beside the River Lagan at Newforge Lane in South Belfast. The project will provide a range of indoor and outdoor sporting facilities.
The official project launch took place at Newforge on 24 February 2020, attended by DfC Permanent Secretary, Tracy Meharg.
The Ballycastle Shared Services project, led by Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, has been awarded £2.6m to upgrade existing (and develop new) sports facilities on the Shared Education Campus (SEC) in Ballycastle.
The Waterside Shared Village project, led by Derry City and Strabane District Council, has been awarded £6.8m to create a multi-faceted shared space facility within the Waterside area of Derry-Londonderry, incorporating a central community hub building surrounded by a sports complex. Link below provides updates regarding the project.
The Connecting Pomeroy project, based in County Tyrone, has been awarded has been awarded £5.1m of total project cost of £5.2m to encourage greater levels of cross-community contact within the local area. It will create a ‘Forest School Retreat’, sports and community facilities.
The project was officially launched on Thursday 17 October 2019 at the Glenavon Hotel, Cookstown. The Department for Communities was represented by Mark O’Donnell, (Director) and the event was attended by over 100+ participants.
Links drone footage provided below:
The Monaghan Peace Campus, based in Monaghan Town, has been awarded £8.1m towards total project costs of £15m to create a new shared community space comprising of a four-storey community building. The facility includes a youth space, cultural heritage centre, library and peace archive, shared community space, welcome zone and external events space.
The link below provides updates regarding the project:
The Courthouse Shared Space Creative Hub, led by the Causeway Enterprise Agency (CEA), has been awarded £4.4m to renovate and add a three-story extension to the Courthouse Building in Bushmills, which is currently derelict. The key components of the capital build are a designerie, a messy studio, 17 workshop spaces, administration area, three shared meeting spaces and a garden area.
The Riverine Community Park project, led by Donegal County Council, has been awarded £7.59m to create thirty acres of new cross-border community park space and infrastructure, designed to help bring people together. It will encompass a number of unique elements all designed to encourage greater levels of positive cross-community contact. These elements will include: a pavilion building; outdoor wetland and park space; a family fun space; cross-border pathways and greenways; and a newly constructed pedestrian footbridge that will symbolically connect the space across the River Foyle linking Lifford and Strabane. The project launched virtually on 26 March 2021.
The Shankill Shared Women’s Centre, led by Belfast City Council, has been awarded £5.5m to deliver a purpose built facility, adjacent to the peace wall and interface at Lanark Way in North/West Belfast. It will provide a new, shared space, providing cross community activities that will deliver ‘meaningful, purposeful and sustained’ contact between people from all sections of the community. Key elements will include a welcome space, multi-purpose hall, education & training rooms and an external play & courtyard.
The official project launch event took place on 03 March 2020, at which the Department was represented by Mark O’Donnell, Director of Belfast Regeneration.
Any queries should be directed to the European Branch (Urban Policy) As well as the responsibilities shown above this Unit also deals with issues arising from former EU Programmes such as Peace I, Urban I, Physical Social and Environmental Programme, Interreg IIA, Peace II, Urban II, Building Sustainable Prosperity and Interreg IIIA.