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Community grant brings ‘tunnel’ vision a step nearer

Published: Mon, 12 May 2014
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A total of 8 participants have undertaken an Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) Level 5 Award
Markets Community Grant
Markets Development Association members have undertaken an Institute of Leadership & Management Level 5 Award in Understanding Social Enterprise.
The eight local residents are participating courtesy of a £5,000 community grant from the Housing Executive. Financial assistance in the form of community grants is available to help resident and community groups carry out projects that will encourage volunteering, social enterprise or working with us and other statutory agencies.
Explaining what the grant means to the community, particularly in terms of leading out the exciting Tunnels Project, Gerard Davison from Markets Development Association said:
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Housing Executive for their continued support and in particular for the community grant - without this we would not have been able to undertake this training, which is vital if we are to deliver and sustain the Tunnels Project.”
He continued: “The Tunnels Project has the potential to make a major impact on the impression, connections and vibrancy of the Markets area as it would facilitate linkages to Lanyon Place, the city centre and beyond.
“Proposals include the transformation of seven of the arches located under East Bridge Street into useable accommodation.  As part of the project the Markets Development Association would also relocate and run its services and programmes from the arches as a social economy business. The remaining arch would be opened up and transformed into a public realm, providing access to Lanyon Place and vice versa.
“To ensure that we are ready to manage a social economy enterprise three of our full time employees and five committee members are undertaking the ILM Level 5 Award in Understanding Social Enterprise. I suppose the added bonus is that the skills that they gain will not only be beneficial in terms of the Tunnels Project but can also be shared with other groups.”
Our South and East Belfast Area Manager, Carole Johnston, added: “Community grants are there to help resident and community groups promote new initiatives that enhance the welfare of tenants and residents living within Housing Executive estates and there is no doubt that the Tunnels Project meets that criteria.
“We were delighted to be able to assist the group and indeed look forward to working them on their journey – there seem to be quite exciting times ahead for the Markets community.”