Community groups throughout Newry, Mourne and Down are  celebrating after receiving over £250,000  from The National Lottery Community Fund  to  support local  projects. This funding is part of a roll-out of more than £2 million across NI today. 

Aurora Community Cinema, based in Rostrevor, is among those groups sharing £254,391. They are using a £2,880 grant to run a cinema, giving local people the opportunity to choose, watch and debate films. The project brings people in the community together to build greater connections. Barbara Wendel-Sands from the group said; "Aurora Cinema Club is delighted to receive National Lottery funding. It will enable us to continue to bring the Rostrevor community together each month to present our quirky choice of films. We plan to also these funds to help with marketing in the local Council area."

Brunswick Accordion Band, based in Annalong, is using a £9,000 grant to set up a walking group and buy equipment such as waterproof clothing and walking boots. The project allows people from low incomes to participate in activities without the pressure of buying necessary equipment, improving health and well-being. The group are also using the money to run a community ceilidh to bring people together.

Barbara Wendel-Sands, Mary Verner and Rachel Owens from Aurora Community Cinema celebrate their funding.
Barbara Wendel-Sands, Mary Verner and Rachel Owens from Aurora Community Cinema celebrate their funding.

County Down Rural Community Network, based in Downpatrick, is using a £206,310 grant to fund their ‘Down Together Connected and United Project (DTCAUP)’ over the next three years. The project will work with local people to deliver a host of activities including capacity building and governance training, networking events, activities for men’s groups, arts, crafts, activities for older people, family events, summer schemes and diversionary activities for young people up to the age of 18.

St Mark's High School, based in Warrenpoint, is using a £6,816 grant to develop a sensory garden for pupils and other community groups that use the school including sports clubs, summer camps, traditional music and cultural groups. People using the garden can enjoy and benefit from visiting a calming area in a shared community facility.

Warrenpoint Men's Shed is using a £9,942 grant to purchase equipment and tools for the shed, including furniture for a social space. The project helps local men of all ages create new connections, meet others, learn new skills and share problems. The money is also being used to support start-up costs for the shed’s new premises.

Also receiving funding is Newry Rugby Club, Saintfield Rural Development Association, Young at Heart, Streetwise Community Circus C.I.C, CLIC Sargent Cancer Care for Children, Multiple Sclerosis Society Northern Ireland, Community Places, SOFT UK, Special Educational Needs Advice Centre and The Association for Real Change.

Kate Beggs, The National Lottery Community Fund Northern Ireland Director, said: “Our experience of working with communities is that when you listen, people have amazing ideas to make things better and to change people’s lives in their own area. It is great to see the diverse work being done through projects funded by National Lottery money.

“Whether it’s small pots of funding or larger grants, people are being brought together to make good things happen and change lives. When people take the lead and develop their own great ideas, communities really do thrive. I want to say thanks to all The National Lottery players who have helped make this possible.”

For a full list of grants awarded across Northern Ireland visit: WWW.TNLCOMMUNITYFUND.ORG.UK

For more information on applying for National Lottery funding, please visit If you have an idea you would like to discuss or need guidance please call The National Lottery Community Fund on 028 9055 1455 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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