£4,000 up for grabs in Rural Community Awards

editorial image

The Housing Executive has launched a new awards scheme to reward rural communities working to better their areas.

The inaugural Rural Community Awards 2014 was launched at the Balmoral Show and aims to improve community spirit within rural neighbourhoods by offering a prize fund of £4,000, with four prizes of £1,000 being awarded to help and support communities.

The competition has two categories, The Cleaner and Greener Award and The Community Spirit Award, open to all rural neighbourhoods and not just Housing Executive estates.

Within each category there are two prizes, one for villages with a population of less than 1,000 and one for populations of 1000-4500.

So if you have an active community group, are proud of your local neighbourhood and live in a community which comes together to improve the local environment, then why not enter.

Tim Gilpin, the Rural Co-Ordinator for the Housing Executive, said the awards were introduced after young people in rural areas highlighted their concern that not enough was being done to protect and enhance their villages.

“Many young people highlighted the blight of litter, graffiti and dumping in local areas. We want to encourage rural communities to protect the physical asset of the rural landscape.”

“We are excited to launch the inaugural Rural Community Awards. This competition is primarily aimed at rewarding rural communities who have actively engaged in improving the physical appearance of their settlement, as well as those who have encouraged and supported community participation in order to improve the community spirit within their rural neighbourhood.”

You can download the application form and get more details on the competition at http://www.nihe.gov.uk/news-rural-community-awards

Deadline for submission of applications is Friday 6th June 2014 at 4pm. Email your application form to eoin.mckinney@nihe.gov.uk, or send to The Rural Unit, Northern Ireland Housing Executive, The Housing Centre, 2 Adelaide Street, Belfast, BT2 8PB.