Independent and not-for-profit with 30 years' expertise in planning, community planning and engagement


Big Proposals for Northern Ireland

The Big Lottery Fund has unveiled the BIG Proposals for Northern Ireland, a document that gives details on the types of programmes it hopes to run up until 2012. It builds upon the wide-ranging 'BIG Thinking' consultation carried out last year. 

The Big Lottery Fund is asking people to comment on the new proposed priorities which include older people at risk; space and place; younger people at risk and alcohol related harm. The consultation launched on 8 October 2009 and will run until 15 January 2010. 

The 'Big Proposals' gives details on how future grant could be developed in the following areas:

  • a programme supporting older people worth £10 million;
  • a £15 million programme that will fund improvement and activities involving space and place;
  • a programme targeting young people at risk worth £10 million; and
  • a £5 million programme dealing with alcohol misuse and related harm. 

For further information see

15 October 2009

Planning Reform Consultation

The Planning Service is holding 11 consultation events during September 2009 on the proposals for the Reform of Planning. Some have already taken place - the remaining events will be held on:

- Thursday, 17 September 2009 at 7.30 pm, Ballymena Showgrounds, Ballymena;

- Monday, 21 September 2009 at 10.30 am, Market Place Theatre, Armagh; and

- Tuesday, 22 September 2009 at 7.30 pm CAFRE, Greenmount Campus, Antrim.

To reserve your place at one of the events, please register online at: or contact Julie Corey at the event-ful consultancy (Telephone: 9043 4320, Fax: 9043 4321 or Email:

Community Places together with a number of other community and environmental organisations has prepared a Shared Policy Paper to encourage participation in the planning reform process. The paper identifies 11 key issues which we feel need further consideration in the Planning Reform consultation document. The consulation period ends on 2 October 2009.

16 September 2009

New Ferry for Rathlin Island

A new ferry service to serve the island community of Rathlin will be officially launched on Wednesday, 9 September 2009. A new purpose-built high speed vessel capable of carrying 100 seated passengers will provide a comfortable, accessible, year-round service to the island and will reduce the crossing time for the six mile journey from 45 minutes to 20. Congratulations to Rathlin Development and Community Association for its part in this realisation of efforts to improve services to the island.

4 September 2009

Funding for Accessibility Projects

The Building Equality and Inclusion Grant Scheme offers financial support to arts, cultural, leisure, community and heritage venues and organisations that are committed to enhancing accessibility for people with disabilities.

Adapt NI will distribute incentive grants of up to £2,000 depending on the ownership of the venue, quality of application and proposed work to be undertaken. Applications will be considered on a first come first served basis and priority will be given to proposals for support for projects that can be completed by March 2010. The competition for funds is expected to be high. For more information visit, call 9023 1211 or email

21 August 2009

Dormant Bank Accounts Consultation

The Department of Finance and Personnel is seeking views on the development of the draft Northern Ireland spending priorities and the underpinning policy directions for the Dormant Bank and Building Society Accounts Scheme. A 'dormant bank account' is a bank or building society account which a customer has not asked about, put money into or taken money out of for at least 15 years.

It is estimated that there will be in the region of £10 million to £20 million available in the first year of the scheme with an anticipated several hundred thousand pounds available each year thereafter.

The consultation's aim is to establish spending priorities to specifically address the needs of the people of Northern Ireland and asks for input on a number of questions, including:

  • are there particular areas or issues that would benefit from the funds?
  • are there particular groups of individuals or organisations that should be targeted? 
  • should disadvantaged areas in particular be targeted?

The consultation paper is available to download from DFP's website and responses should be submitted by 29 October 2009.

18 August 2009