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Ministers Announce Introduction of New Transport Scheme for Rural Dwellers

Transport Minister Conor Murphy and Rural Development Minister Michelle Gildernew have announced the introduction of two new rural transport schemes. These new schemes have been developed to help meet the transport needs of rural dwellers. The new Dial-a-Lift services will be available to members of Rural Community Transport Partnerships. These services are similar to the Door-to-Door services that are available in urban areas and are designed to allow individuals who have limited access to transport to get to local services and facilities.

The second scheme announced is the Assisted Rural Transport Scheme (ARTS). This scheme is being supported by the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development and will allow eligible members of Rural Community Transport Partnerships to obtain concessionary travel when using community transport. This initiative, which is being launched as a pilot, will help ease the financial burden on rural dwellers. The Ministers fully recognise the importance of transport for people in rural areas and their Departments have worked closely together to introduce the Dial-a-Lift scheme and Assisted Rural Transport Scheme pilot. Both these initiatives will improve access to essential local services for users and will be available from early December 2009.

13 November 2009

Annual General Meeting

This year's Annual General Meeting will be held on Friday, 13 November 2009 at 12.30 pm in our offices at 2 Downshire Place, Belfast. All Community Places members are invited to attend the meeting to receive our Annual Report 2009, audited accounts and appoint the Board of Directors for the forthcoming year. The meeting will end with lunch at 1.00 pm. Please contact Celine ( if you are able to attend (by Tuesday, 10 November 2009).

30 October 2009

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