Peace III & Interreg IV Programme Update

The Steering Committees for both programmes whose role it is to select projects for funding have been formed and have already taken decisions on some applications

Below is an update of the current state of play regarding all the Peace III and Interreg IVA Programme Priorities.

PEACE III Update
Priority 1.1 Building positive relations at the local level

This Priority will be delivered at both a local and a regional level:
Local
Under this Priority, local councils are expected to ‘cluster’ or join together to form partnerships to develop and deliver Peace Action Plans which focus on tackling sectarianism and racism in their area. Voluntary and community organisations hoping to receive funding under this theme must be included in these local plans and local councils have a duty to undertake meaningful consultation with the sector before submitting their plans to the SEUPB. The Community Relations Council and Border Action are to provide technical support to the councils in the preparation of their plans. SEUPB expect to receive 11-13 action plans by March 2008. NICVA have some concerns however that this process of inclusive consultation involving local groups has not yet commenced in all areas and that many groups have not yet been given the opportunity to express their views on the identification and implementation of local funding priorities. NICVA recommend therefore that those interested in this Priority contact their local council for information on the development of their Peace III 1.1 Action Plans.

Regional
While the budget for this measure is €50m, following a call for Expressions of Interest (EOI) in July 2007, 48 EOI’s to the total value of €123m were received. Currently, 15 of these have been shortlisted and 13 have now progressed to the economic appraisal stage. A call for application for this measure has just been issued.

The voluntary and community representatives on these Steering Committees are: Gareth Harper of the Rural Community Network (Priority 1‘Building positive relations at the local level’); Sylvia Gordon of GroundworkNI (Priority 2 ‘Creating shared public spaces’); and Tony Kennedy of Co-operation Ireland who will be involved in the cross-border elements of the Interreg programme.

Priority 1.2 - Acknowledging and dealing with the past
SEUPB have invited Border Action and the Community Relations Council (CRC) to be responsible for implementing Priority 1.2 given its focus on those most affected by the conflict i.e. victims and survivors. Currently negotiations between SEUPB and CRC/ Border Action on the delivery of Priority 1.2 are on-going but it is hoped that this Priority will be rolled out before March 2008.

Priority 2.1 - Creating Shared Public Spaces
With a budget of €82M, this priority focuses on the development of large infrastructural projects to regenerate, urban, rural and border areas through the creation of genuine shared space. A call for Expressions of Interest (EOI) opened in May 2007 and of the 126 received, 20 were shortlisted and 12 have now progressed to the economic appraisal stage. It is expected that overall some 8-12 projects will be funded with support ranging from €1.5-€10M per project. During the December Steering Committee meeting 2 applications were rejected while 1 was approved. Five further applications will be discussed at the next Steering Committee meeting planned for 5 February 2008.

Priority 2.2 - Key institutional capacities are developed for a shared society
This Priority aims to help the public sector to deal, in a more targeted manner, with the issues that contribute to a shared society. It also aims to support people who have been excluded or marginalised from economic, social and civil networks as well as organisations that promote European and international networking and facilitate the exchange of best practice in peace and reconciliation trans-nationally. It is important to note therefore that this Priority is not solely aimed at the public sector. Currently this Priority is not open for application but it is expected to open before summer 2008.