£50k grant helps Ballymacash Sports Academy to develop a new community hub

Ballymacash Sports Academy will use the funding to support the development of a community hub at the Bluebell.

The new building is the latest phase in the group’s efforts to develop a state of the art community sports complex. It involves the replacement of the existing portable timber hut changing rooms, with modern fit for purpose changing facilities along with the development of a community gym, communal spaces and toilets.

Breedon Ireland’s Whitemountain Programme provides funding for community amenity and biodiversity projects within 15 miles of Mullaghglass landfill site through the Landfill Communities Fund.

To date over £8.5million has been allocated to almost 250 projects. These range from sports facilities to community halls, and from wildflower meadows to play areas.

Edward Kearney (Whitemountain Programme); Chris Finley (Ballymacash Sports Academy); Cllr Amanda Grehan; Richard Rogers (Groundwork); Neil Woolsey (Ballymach Sports Academy

Ballymacash Sports Academy was formed in 2017 to look at redeveloping an amenity site in the Ballymacash area commonly known as The Bluebell. Ballymacash Rangers FC represent the core service user. The club has approximately 130 senior players, 180 junior players and 200+ social members.

Neil Woolsey from Ballymacash Sports Academy said: “Both Ballymacash Rangers FC and Lisburn Ladies FC are doing brilliantly at all levels with the community investment over the last few years at The Bluebell.

“We now want to make sure that our off the pitch facilities keep pace with playing successes.

“We hope that this new community hub building will be a real resource for all the residents in Ballymacash and wider Lisburn area, sporting and non-sporting.”

Richard Rogers from Groundwork Northern Ireland commented: “We’ve seen Ballymacash Sports Academy go from strength to strength since we first supported them through the Whitemountain Programme back in 2018.

“This new building will be another major step forward and we’re delighted to be able to help get it off the ground.”

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Edward Kearney from the Whitemountain Programme added: “With the forthcoming closure of Mullaghglass landfill site there will only be two further rounds of funding, so please check out the fund guidelines and, if your project is eligible, we’d be delighted to receive an application.”

If you have a great community or biodiversity focused project which lies within the 15 mile radius of Mullaghglass landfill site near Lisburn (and within 10 miles of a licensed landfill site), then why not apply? The programme is currently open for applications.

To find out more visit the website www.groundwork.org.uk/whitemountain or contact [email protected] .

Grants of up to £25,000 are available for projects making a positive impact at ground level, either developing facilities for community use or encouraging biodiversity and environmental improvements.