1. What is this project about?

The Communities in Transition Project is enabling people within eight geographic areas to lead change in their area through innovative programmes which tap into and build on existing strengths within the community.

The project is part of a wider programme involving Government Departments, law enforcement agencies, local councils, community organisations and charities working together to achieve a society where:

  • Paramilitarism has no place
  • Citizens and Communities feel safe and confident
  • The public support and have increased confidence in the justice system
  • Support is available for those who want to move away from paramilitary activity and structures

2. Who is funding the Project?

The Communities in Transition Project, led by The Executive Office (TEO), is one of 38 actions within the Executive Action Plan on Tackling Paramilitary Activity, Criminality and Organised Crime that make up the Tackling Paramilitarism Programme, which is being funded by the UK Government and the Northern Ireland Executive. Further information on the wider Tackling Paramilitarism Programme is available at:
https://www.northernireland.gov.uk/articles/executive-programme-tackling-paramilitary-activity-and-organised-crime

3. What are the eight areas you are working in?   

The selected areas include four in Belfast:

  • Lower Falls, Twinbrook, Poleglass, Upper Springfield, Turf Lodge and Ballymurphy in West Belfast.
  • New Lodge and Greater Ardoyne in North Belfast.
  • The Mount and Ballymacarett in East Belfast.
  • The Shankill

And four outside of Belfast:

  • Antiville and Kilwaughter in Larne together with Northland and Castlemara in Carrickfergus.
  • Brandywell and Creggan in Derry/Londonderry.
  • Kilcooley and Rathgill in North Down.
  • Drumgask and Kilwilkie in Lurgan.

4. What does ‘communities in transition’ mean?

For this project ‘communities in transition’ refers to geographical areas where communities have historically experienced high levels of paramilitarism and associated levels of coercive control. This project is designed to support ambitious initiatives that will build capacity in such communities to transition into communities where paramilitary activity no longer plays a role.

The concept of ‘transition’ applies throughout the entire Executive Action Plan and not just to this project. The approach to transition that is being developed and utilised across the Action Plan, and to support the successful delivery of this project, is that:

  • Transition will be reflected in society as a whole; in institutions of governance and statutory agencies; in neighbourhoods and places; and for groups of people that make up local communities;
  • Transition will involve a proactive move towards a culture of lawfulness;
  • Transition will mean communities and individuals impacted by paramilitarism achieving, and being supported to achieve, a move away from the coercive influence of organised crime and paramilitary organisations into communities where paramilitary activity no longer plays a role;  
  • Transition also requires action to ensure communities are fully involved and supported to address underlying issues and achieve improved outcomes for all, as part of the continued transformation of society.

5. What do you mean by ‘building capacity’?

We believe that our communities have great potential which for too long has been stifled by paramilitarism, criminality and organised crime. The change we will all seek will only happen if we tap into this potential. The Communities in Transition project aims to be a catalyst for change at a local level by increasing skills, getting more people involved in helping their local community and increasing collaboration and partnership.

6. How will the project activities be delivered?

Individual projects will be commissioned via a tender process. Details of open calls for tender area available here. It is anticipated that individual organisations or ideally consortia who can bring relevant connections and expertise will submit tender proposals to deliver one or more elements of the plan.

The delivery of activities will be monitored against the outcomes for the project and against the overall programme outcomes. Activity may be adjusted to improve impact or to respond to changes in the area context.

7. How do i get involved?

For further information please contact Co-operation Ireland on 028 90 321462 or e-mail [email protected]

To find out about the wider Tackling Paramilitarism Programme please visit:

https://www.northernireland.gov.uk/articles/executive-programme-tackling-paramilitary-activity-and-organised-crime

or follow us on Twitter @endingtheharm