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£15m up for grabs to revamp Northern Ireland eyesore sites

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The Crumlin Road Courthouse, designed by architect Charles Lanyon, was badly damaged by fire in 2009

The Crumlin Road Courthouse, designed by architect Charles Lanyon, was badly damaged by fire in 2009

The Crumlin Road Courthouse, designed by architect Charles Lanyon, was badly damaged by fire in 2009

Derelict buildings throughout Northern Ireland are in line for a facelift after the Big Lottery Fund pledged to give £15m to neglected areas.

Millions will be ploughed in to local communities to target dilapidated buildings and abandoned spaces.

The £15m funding is up for grabs by project groups who want to transform eyesores into a places residents can avail of.

The aim of the funding is to improve areas — including spaces and buildings — that aren’t used enough, are overgrown or seen as only use for certain groups.

Neglected buildings and unused spaces in residential areas that have been earmarked by community groups could be set for a fresh new look after the funding programme was announced yesterday.

The former Crumlin Road Courthouse and surrounds is one area which could be in line for a makeover.

Both the Community Foundation for Northern Ireland (CFNI) and the Big Lotto Fund helped roll out the scheme.

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A roadshow will travel throughout Northern Ireland in June to promote the programme among potential applicants.

The CFNI has enlisted criteria for those eligible for the funding on their website where applicants can send their ideas online.

The Space and Place programme will give grants of between £50,000 and £1m to communities to make better use of new and existing outdoor and indoor spaces.

CFNI director Avila Kilmurray said the funding will help rundown communities transform their area and help give people a sense of ownership.

“The £15m funding is for buildings and unused spaces that have been neglected and need a change.

“We want to encourage local community-based organisations and projects to submit their ideas and explain how they can connect their communities and people to the development of space and reinvigoration of buildings.

“It’s about using underdeveloped and unused areas and spaces and how communities can turn these in to leisure facilities or play-parks.

”It’s up to the local communities as to how they want to use it,” Dr Kilmurray said.


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