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Ballymacash Sports Academy set to enjoy £300k levelling up boost

A community group in Northern Ireland has been awarded £300,000 to provide sport facilities for local people at the heart of the community.

Ballymacash Sports Academy supports young people from all backgrounds to take up sport and excel in their talents.

This funding, which will be delivered through the government’s Community Ownership Fund, will provide a boost to local people in Lisburn by supporting improved facilities for a full range of sports.

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Ballymacash Sports Academy is one of ten projects across England, Scotland and Northern Ireland will benefit from more than £1.8 million in funding to support much-loved community assets as part of the government’s ambitious plan to level up the whole of the UK.

PressEye Belfast - Northern Ireland - 23rd March 2022 Minister Visit Ballymacash Picture by John Stafford Presseye.com

Secretary of State for Levelling Up Michael Gove said: “I’m delighted that we are awarding this funding to Ballymacash Sports Academy – a vital pillar of the local community – to breathe new life into the centre and deliver for people in Northern Ireland.

“The Community Ownership Fund empowers local people to take over community assets, which would otherwise fall into disrepair and be lost.

“As we work to level up the United Kingdom, we are backing community-led projects like Ballymacash that bring people together, restore local pride and benefit towns and cities across the country.”

Minister of State for Northern Ireland Conor Burns, who visited Ballymacash Sports Academy to congratulate them on their award, said: “I’m thrilled that Ballymacash Sports Academy was successful in its Community Ownership Fund bid.

PressEye Belfast - Northern Ireland - 23rd March 2022 Minister Visit Ballymacash Picture by John Stafford Presseye.com

“This fantastic Academy is at the heart of the local community, and, as a result of this funding, the group will be able to provide more modern sports facilities for everyone here.

“This award is a great example of levelling up in action, supporting people who understand the needs of their community best to provide the services that matter most.”

The £150 million Community Ownership Fund has been set up to help communities take ownership of assets and amenities at risk of closure. These could include pubs, football grounds, museums or music venues.

The first round of successful projects was announced at Spending Review in autumn last year.

PressEye Belfast - Northern Ireland - 23rd March 2022 Minister Visit Ballymacash Picture by John Stafford Presseye.com