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A novel funding initiative has been announced by Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon to support the ‘greening’ of alleyways across the North.It's thaought that local housing developments in the Newry area could take advantage of the scheme when it launches.

The funding will support community led projects that make alleyways and other similar spaces more attractive through planting, as well as improving accessibility for walking, cycling and other activities which will enhance health and well-being for local residents.

Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon with local resident Brigid Loughran during a visit to Ardmore/Rossmore Avenues alleyway in Belfast.
Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon with local resident Brigid Loughran during a visit to Ardmore/Rossmore Avenues alleyway in Belfast.

Announcing the initiative, Minister Mallon said: “I am aware that a number of local communities have taken steps to ‘green’ alleyways and other similar spaces within their areas and the benefits that this brings.  I have seen this at first hand in Ardoyne in North Belfast and when in October I visited an example of such a scheme at Ardmore/Rossmore Avenues in Belfast and saw how it made a real difference to the lives of people living there. 

“‘Greening’ alleyways not only helps to improve the appearance of these spaces but also helps to enhance community pride, reduce antisocial behaviour and generally improve the environment, helping to promote walking, cycling and other activities.  In June I announced a £20m blue/green infrastructure fund which includes funding for community led projects supported by my Department to promote active travel and to shape our places to live in the new normal. I am delighted today to announce my commitment to fund these type of interventions, working in partnership with local Councils to improve the lives of their residents.

“In these challenging times it is important that we create more opportunities for active travel and take steps to improve people’s physical and mental health.  I am committed to doing all I can to address these issues for people across Northern Ireland.

“I have written to local Councils to invite them to scope the opportunities that exist to develop small scale green spaces in urban areas within their individual Council areas, and apply to my Department for funding.  It is my intention that this will be a rolling programme, with allocations being funded based on budgets on a year by year basis.”

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