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  • Writer's pictureLove Ballymena

Mayor praises work of Larne Community Cluster and encourages more groups to get involved

Community groups and organisations have been working in partnership with Mid and East Antrim Borough Council to establish a cluster to advance community development in the area.

The Cluster Programme is the Council’s Community Development initiative, which promotes collaboration across community groups to deliver benefits, not only for the participating groups, but also for the wider community.

The overarching aim of Council’s strategic approach to community development is that:

“The Mid and East Antrim Borough Council area is recognised as a place where the community and partner organisations work together cohesively and effectively to improve the quality of life of residents.”

Groups in the District Electoral Areas of Coast Road & Larne Lough, which stretches from Carnlough to Whitehead, have been meeting together on a bi-monthly basis since April 2022 to develop an agreed approach to how they will work together and which initiatives they may deliver in the coming months. Over 30 people representing 21 different community organisations attended the last meeting in June 2022.

Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, who facilitate the meetings, are keen to hear from other community groups in the area who are interested in hearing more about this collaborative approach and the potential benefits it can bring to them and the wider community.

Mayor for Mid and East Antrim, Alderman Noel Williams said:

“I am delighted that community groups in the Larne area have joined forces to form a Larne Community Cluster.

“It is the core aim of Council’s Community Plan - ‘Putting People First’ - that Mid and East Antrim will be a strong, vibrant, safe and inclusive community, where people work together to improve the quality of life for all. The hard work and dedication of community groups and organisations across the Borough are vital in helping us accomplish this.

“It is encouraging to see groups working together with each other and with Council to build capacity and strengthen community cohesion and I would encourage all community groups in the Larne area to get involved.”

Some of the benefits of community cluster work are:

• Having the ability to network and build relationships with fellow community groups in the area

• Opportunity to gain a greater understanding of what is going on in the local community and access any available support for community groups

• Pooling of resources e.g. joining together for training, potential for hands-on assistance at events from fellow community groups and sharing equipment

• Opportunity to share knowledge, experiences and best practice

• Avoidance of duplication by focusing on a joint action plan to tackle issues in the community

• Potential to reach more people in the community through a supportive community group network and joined-up approach

• Possibility of greater access to funding through joint applications

Larne Community Cluster meets bi-monthly on alternate Wednesday and Thursday evenings at the Market Yard in Larne. The next meeting is on Wednesday 21st September 2022 at 6pm.

If you are part of a community group in Larne and would like to come along to the next meeting, please register by phone or email with:

Amanda Stinson

T: 07385410955

If you would like to find out more information, please contact either:

Wendy Carson

District Electoral Area Officer for Larne Lough

T: 07966888131


Amanda Cotter

District Electoral Area Officer for Larne Coast Road

T: 07391863492


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