Robin Swann, the North Antrim Ulster Unionist Party Assemblyman and member of the Stormont Agriculture and Culture committees, has welcomed the award of £884,000 of European Union funding to enable the Orange Order to conduct a project aimed at marginalised Protestants living in border areas, or in interface communities.
Assemblyman Swann, the UUP’s North Antrim Chairman and Party Chief Whip, is also his Party’s Culture spokesman and a past master of both the Orange and Royal Black Orders.
He said: “The Orange culture is embedded within Protestant communities in border and interface areas and has plays a major role in the lives of communities and individuals.
“I, therefore, give a warm welcome to the Stepping Towards Reconciliation in Positive Engagement (Stripe) project, which will create seven jobs and be based in Lurgan’s famous Brownlow House.
“This is a most welcome initiative which seeks to build up capacity within the Protestant community where it is historically weak - particularly with regard to community infrastructure -and to seek to address low levels of community confidence and participation.
“It is quite clear that many Protestant communities in border and interface areas suffered greatly during the Troubles and I very much appreciate the support of the Special EU Programmes Body.
“This initiative, aimed at identifying young leaders, building capacity and developing skills to enable them to play a full role in shaping society and helping their communities to play a full role in the shared future we are all aspiring to.”