Series of peace funding meetings due next week

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A series of public meetings are taking place next week to give local people the opportunity to have their say on the new PEACE IV Plan that is being drawn up by Derry City and Strabane District Council.

The first of meetings are scheduled to take place on Monday, May 23 between 2pm and 4pm at the Holywell DiverseCity Community Partnership offices, 10-14 Bishop Street, and at St 
Columb’s Park House on 
the Limavady Road from 7-9pm.

On Tuesday, May 24, the Derry City and Strabane District Council offices on the Derry Road in Strabane will host a meeting between 2pm and 4pm while later that evening the meeting will take place at the Derg Valley Leisure Centre in Castlederg between 7pm and 9pm.

The Diamond Centre, Baranailt Road in Claudy will be the venue for the meeting from 7-9pm on Wednesday, May 25.

Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District, Councillor Elisha McCallion said: “I would really encourage local people to come along and give their views on key priorities for the district.

The funding will assist in the delivery of programmes and projects which will build cross-community relations and help establish a more cohesive society for everyone.

“The only way we can come up with an effective plan which will work for the entire district is if we engage with as many people as possible to find out the challenges and problems faced by our communities.

From there effective support programmes can be devised to target areas of greatest need.”

The PEACE IV Programme will run over a five year period until 2021 building on the experiences from the previous PEACE III Programme.

The funding would contribute €7.8m towards progressing a peaceful and stable society across the North and in cross-border regions through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) of the European Union and managed by the Special EU Programmes Body.

Three key areas will be the focus of the Derry City and Strabane District PEACE IV Plan, namely Children and Young People; Shared Spaces and Services; and Building Positive Relations. Information is currently being gathered from public and various stakeholder groups, and establishing the views of the general public is the next step in the process. The consultation events will focus on emerging key issues and priorities, indicative themes and potential actions.

Programme Manager with Derry City and Strabane District Council, Rosalind Young, said: “We are really keen to meet with people to gauge their views and put together a comprehensive peace plan for Derry and Strabane. This is an important opportunity to tackle the remaining challenges that exist in building positive relations and developing shared spaces so that we can bring about positive change for the people and communities who have been particularly impacted by the legacy of the conflict.”

You can register your interest in attending one of the events by emailing - peace@derrystrabane.com.

For more information on the PEACE IV Programme check out www.seupb.eu and a Citizen’s Summary on the PEACE IV Programme 2014-2020 can be found at http://www.seupb.eu/Libraries/PEACE_IV_Programme_Guidance/PIV_CitizensSummary_English_Version10.sflb.ashx