PEACE IV celebrates successful £6.7m cross-community projects across Derry & Strabane

Since its launch in June 2017, Derry City and Strabane District Council’s PEACE IV Programme has funded over 65 local cross-community reconciliation projects, channelling £6.7m into engaging with 7,000 local people.

Friday, 11th June 2021, 4:24 pm

This achievement was celebrated with a special online conference marking the successful conclusion of Derry City and Strabane District Council’s PEACE IV Programme.

The £6.7 million was spread across three themes – Children and Young People, Shared Spaces and Services and Building Positive Relations. The PEACE IV Programme is supported by the European Union, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB). Match-funding has been provided by the NI Executive Office and the Department of Rural and Community Development in Ireland.

Former Mayor Councillor Brian Tierney said: “There is no doubt that the PEACE IV programme has had a positive impact across the entire city and district and we look forward to having the opportunity to progress that work further through EU funding under the PEACE Plus programme.”

Some of the runners getting into the spirit at the Respect 5k Colour Run in St. Columb's Park.

An independent evaluation of the Council’s PEACE IV programme found that, of nearly 3,000 responses from participants, between 80-90% felt that as a result of taking part, they had a better understanding of their own and others’ culture and heritage, and were more positive about cross-community and cross-border work.

Alison Wallace, Chair of the PEACE IV Board, said that over 2,200 young people had engaged. “Highlights have included health and wellbeing work, NW Ministry of Youth creating mechanisms for young adult representation, ‘Let’s Talk’ projects around cultural diversity, racism, sexual orientation, gender, disability, wellbeing and mental health. Youth Leadership projects like Government Ambassadors, Youth Street Art, LEAD project, Business Youth Charter and Pilot Youth Zone and a fantastic cross-cultural project delivering programming on Ulster-Scots, Irish, Marching Band and diversity cultures through the arts.”

Co-Chair, Colr. Martin Reilly, highlighted the 1,500 participants across 12 Shared Spaces and Services projects. “Residents are delighted with the two capital projects, a Walled Garden in St. Columb’s Park and work at Castle Park in Castlederg. The programme also delivered significant cross-interface work in the Bogside/Fountain, Tullyally/Currynierin and Irish Street/Top of the Hill areas and four geographical shared space projects in Newtownstewart, Strabane, Castlederg and Bonds Street/Shepherds Glen/Triangle.”

The theme also delivered large scale inter-generational cross-community programming in the Waterside Shared Village and two thematic projects around bonfires/alternatives and peace tourism. The Building Positive Relations theme was equally vibrant, reaching around 2,000 people across 15 projects and 18 small grants. “The innovation of local community groups in using wide ranging approaches is worthy of note,” said Sue Divin, PEACE IV Programme Manager with Council.

Turning the sod in Castlederg.

Three videos shown at the final celebration and personal testimonies of participants can be viewed via www.derrystrabane.com/Peace-IV

Sports activities in Steelstown.