News

Ambitious plans to breathe new life into Kells and Connor move a step closer

Wednesday 3 October 2018

Mid and East Antrim Borough Council has given its backing to plans to create a community hub in Kells and Connor.

Ambitious plans to breathe new life into Kells and Connor move a step closer

At Monday evening’s meeting of full council, elected members agreed to a proposals to work in partnership with Kells and Connor Improvement Association.

The community group is compiling an application to the Rural Development Project for funding through its Access to Basic Services Scheme and will now be given a helping hand by council officers in their bid to secure investment.

Councillor William McCaughey welcomed the decision.

He said: “We are delighted council has given its support to our vision to deliver the creation of a community hub for the people of Kells and Connor.

“Previously, a feasibility study was carried out to explore the need for the development of a Kells and Connor Community Hub project,

“The study showed that this project fits perfectly with the outcomes in the Kells and Connor Village Plan, as well as Council’s corporate, tourism and Amplify strategies.

“The research carried out highlighted the need for community-led activities and actions; improved community facilities, greater promotion of tourism and heritage; economic regeneration; and closer linking of Kells and Connor villages.

“I thank all of the community volunteers for their hard work to get to this point and we look forward to moving this initiative on to deliver a long overdue community hub for the people of this area.”

The Rural Development Programme (RDP) ‘Access to Basic Services Scheme’ supports capital investments which will provide access to basic services or improvements in social infrastructure (including activities to reduce isolation and/or poverty) to improve the welfare and access to basic services of those living in rural areas and which are an integral part of, and in line with the council’s ‘Putting People First’ Community Plan and emerging priorities. 

Projects must deliver multiple services or create community hubs to allow a number of services to be delivered to the community.  

Infrastructure projects are limited to small-scale capital developments funded at 75% eligible project costs up to a maximum of £150,000. 

Applicants must secure 5% funding from council up to a maximum of £10,000.

Elected members agreed to work in partnership with and provide technical support to Kells and Connor Improvement Association in their application to RDP for funding through the Access to Basic Services Scheme 2014/2020; and to also to provide match funding of £5,821.

Image: Cllr William McCaughey, Chief Executive Anne Donaghy, Director of Community Katrina Morgan, and members of Kells and Connor Improvement Association