The Minister for Social Development, Margaret Ritchie, has announced a funding boost of over £115,000 for Kilcooley Women’s Education and Development Group in Bangor.
The funding will provide a ‘first class’ training environment for women in the Kilcooley area, together with an employment mentoring service.
The project will include a menu of accredited training programmes to meet the needs of women who either want to return to work or progress onto further education or training.
Ms Ritchie said: “It is important that women should be given the opportunity to educate themselves to their full potential. This project provides that opportunity. It will help increase the employability skills of women in Kilcooley and assist them to move into new jobs.”
The Minister acknowledged the role of the Kilcooley Women’s Education and Development Group and the Kilcooley Neighbourhood Partnership who had identified the need for the project. She said: “One of the key factors in successfully tackling deprivation and assisting regeneration is through a partnership approach involving the public, private and community sectors. I recognise the important role which community representatives have to play and I am committed to ensuring that local people have the capacity to contribute to the decision making process.”
The Kilcooley Women’s Centre welcomed the funding. The centre manager, Allison Blaney, said: “This funding will enable the centre to continue to provide opportunities for those women in the area seeking to enhance their education qualifications and help it to provide much needed assistance to women wishing to access employment.”
The project is being developed by the Kilcooley Women’s Education and Development Group along with the Department for Social Development, as part of an overall project costing over £360,000.