Cross-community work of Derry's Waterside Shared Village praised as almost 15,000 participate

Following their recent Good Relations Award win, Derry City and Strabane District Council will host a reception for Waterside Shared Village in Derry.
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The Village was set up to create trust between all Derry communities through shared activities and features a community hub, playing pitch, and cricket training area.

DUP Alderman Niree McMorris, who was heavily involved in the creation of the Village project, said the nomination for the Connecting Communities Project Award was recently submitted to the Good Relations Award Council.

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“The award presentation took place on March 12, and the Village was the only winner in the North West,” Alderman McMorris added. “The project has brought the two interface communities of Irish Street and Top of the Hill together and has resulted in the development of an iconic shared space and community hub.

DUP Alderman Niree McMorris.DUP Alderman Niree McMorris.
DUP Alderman Niree McMorris.

“Since opening in 2022 the Village, in partnership with the Council, had delivered cross-community programmes to 14,580 people from across the wider Waterside area.

“They have delivered programmes too that help participants deal with the past and look to the future, like shared education, sport and after-school provision.

“Through facilitating and encouraging movement between areas, the project has created a more cohesive society, a reduction in segregation, and an increase in mutual respect for cultural differences.”

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Sinn Féin Councillor Christopher Jackson praised the Village as a “fantastic initiative” coming from “many years of relationship-building between two communities”.

He added: “But, their work and achievement and future potential demonstrated the importance of investing in communities, and we’ve seen that thorough the Peace Programme.

“We secured €8 million for the shared village, and hundreds of thousands to support communities, to get us to this stage.

“The awards, the recognition, and relationships wouldn’t have been possible without investments from Europe.

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“I know some in this chamber that campaigned for Brexit and see it as a success, but the opportunities we’re enjoying between Top of the Hill and Irish Street have been denied to other communities.

“European funding need to be replaced and we need to see those opportunities in other areas,” Colr. Jackson added.

Andrew Balfour,

Local Democracy Reporter