NORTH Antrim MLA David McIlveen has been active in promoting the uptake of grants for community and voluntary groups over the past 18 months.
He has assisted in obtaining funding for a variety of events and projects ranging from senior citizen day trips to restoration of premises, the purchasing of equipment and support for setting up of community based initiatives.
Mr McIlveen has also appointed a part-time funding officer who is keen to liaise with and assist community groups. His role includes meeting with groups in order to establish their needs, he will then research and liase with appropriate and suitable sources of funding that would benefit them. The funding officer will not only signpost the potential applicant and re- direct them to a suitable funder but is also available to assist and advise groups on the application process and preparation for funding applications.
He is keen to point to a hugely important recent development in the hitherto neglected issue of obtaining funding for Churches and faith groups in the area. The 2013 grants programme operated by the London based National Churches Trust has recently opened and they are anxious to encourage more Churches from Northern Ireland to apply.
Mr McIlveen said: ‘I believe that community groups, charities and churches provide an invaluable contribution to North Antrim and I enjoy working with these groups in whatever way I can. I have made it a priority to ensure that the various groups within North Antrim are given the support that they deserve.
“As you are probably aware there are lots of potential sources of funding throughout Northern Ireland, much of which is largely overlooked by local groups. I want to ensure uptake is maximised and will be very pleased to hear from you in order to discuss your funding needs and if required to work through the application process with you. If you would like to arrange a meeting with the funding officer please email firstname.lastname@example.org’