Belfast Telegraph

Struggling peace centre in Warrington is handed a £150,000 lifeline

By Rebecca Black

A peace centre in memory of two children killed by an IRA bomb has been thrown a lifeline in the budget.

The future of the Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Foundation for Peace in Warrington had been left in doubt earlier this year when its National Lottery funding dried up.

However, yesterday – one day ahead of the 21st anniversary of the blast – Chancellor George Osborne revealed Westminster will commit £150,000 to it.

This sum represents a full year's funding for the cause's victims' work to continue.

It is understood that Government will work with the charity to find a long-term solution to funding.

Colin Parry, who lost his 12-year-old son Tim in the blast, welcomed the move.

"The day of the bombing, Christmas, Tim's birthday and five days after the explosion when Tim lost his fight are all dates in our hearts and minds and we reflect on memories and images of what a lovely boy he was and how much he was a key part of our family.

"It's incredible 21 years have gone by and hard to comprehend so much time has passed but we have managed to keep Tim and Johnathan's memory alive in a brilliant way with fantastically unique work which has been a source of great pride.

"However, none of that will ever replace losing Tim."

Peace Centre chief executive Nick Taylor said they were very grateful for the funding and the commitment to ensure funding is continued long-term sends a "strong message of reassurance to people affected by violent conflict".

A one-minute silence will be held on Bridge Street today at 12.27pm, to mark the hour that the IRA bomb ripped through the town centre killing Tim along with three-year-old Johnathan Ball and injuring many others.

Colin and his wife Wendy are due to meet with Prime Minister David Cameron at the end of March to discuss the foundation's work and funding issues.

The Warrington bombs took place on February 26 and March 20, 1993 and were part of the IRA's economic war, targeting commercial buildings across England. Johnathan was killed instantly in the blast, while Tim died later.

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