Spruce-up for Bangor seafront as Northern Ireland projects get £1m in lottery cash
A project to give a fresh shine to one of the jewels of Northern Ireland's gold coast is among the four that have been awarded hundreds of thousands of pounds from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Seaside Revival: Bangor-by-the-sea, along with projects in the oldest area of north Belfast, the Arney River corridor in Co Fermanagh and Coalisland are sharing in a £1m transformational investment from the fund.
The project in Bangor aims to transform the seafront with a £210,000 creative arts programme, to bring the rich history and culture of the town to life.
In Belfast, a £237,7000 scheme will focus on an historic mile-long stretch from Donegall Street up to the Crumlin Road.
The area's many historic buildings are set to be used as a "catalyst for sustainable regeneration", with cultural and educational organisations working together to develop a plan to showcase the heritage of this part of the city.
In Co Fermanagh, a £270,000 scheme will be invested in the Arney River Heritage Corridor from Cuilcagh Mountain to Lough Erne, linking rural and semi-rural communities along the river.
Some of the communities set to benefit include Cleenish, Bellanaleck, Arney, Killesher and Florence Court.
The scheme is set to include the creation of new community-led trails, as well as archaeological digs, summer schools, folklore and rural craft workshops, citizen science and arts activities.
And in Co Tyrone, a £312,100 project aims to recognise the historical manufacturing base of Mid Ulster.
This scheme aims to develop new partnerships to create opportunities for local people to build skills capacity, revive lost artisan and manufacturing skills and celebrate the area's industrial manufacturing heritage through the medium of arts and culture.
The grants are the first awards to be made in Northern Ireland through the National Lottery's Great Place scheme.
The Heritage Lottery funding aims to help communities explore how their unique heritage can be used to shape the future of these places and help tackle wider issues such as poverty, employment, health and education.
Paul Mullan, head of the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) in Northern Ireland said: "Thanks to National Lottery players, this £1m investment will enable a step-change in thinking as partnerships deliver projects that put heritage and culture at the very heart of their vision for their own future.
"It will bring together new and existing partnerships to explore new ways to utilise the unique heritage of these special places, stimulating regeneration and growth, and helping to address the wider social issues that affect each place."