THREE interface projects are to benefit from £2.6m funding by the International Fund for Ireland (IFI) for 22 groups across the north.

Twaddell Woodvale Residents Association (TWRA) received £229,330 to extend their project for a further two years. This new phase will focus on building links with the nearby nationalist community, developing cross-border linkages with other projects and playing a key role in the new Community Forum established as an outcome of the North Belfast Parades Agreement.

Cliftonville Community Regeneration Forum (CCRF) were awarded £94,655 for a new one-year project, operating in the Crumlin, Shankill and Waterworks wards. The project aims to equip, resource and empower 20 young people with the skills, knowledge, experience and qualifications to connect with their local community and wider society and enjoy the benefits of improved social inclusion, job skills opportunities and self-development.

Twaddell Ardoyne Shankill Communities in Transition (TASCIT) were also awarded £124,588 to extend, for one-year, a project that is fostering community confidence and dialogue around the future of interface barriers. The project works with the key stakeholders and other service providers to maximise the potential for positive attitudinal change towards peace wall/barrier removal and/or reduction in interface tension.

Dr Adrian Johnston, Chairman of the International Fund for Ireland, said: “For more than 30 years, support from the Fund has helped reduce tensions and promote positive transformation during periods of social and political uncertainty.

“The Fund is focused on equipping communities, and young people in particular, with the means to resist and disrupt division and disaffection.

“We are pleased to award financial assistance to 22 projects and commend them for their willingness to take risks to support individuals and communities in challenging environments. Ground-breaking projects, like these 22, have been successful in tackling underlying causes of youth involvement in anti-social behaviour and the corrosive influence of sectarianism. We know there are risks that still need to be taken for a lasting peace and the quality of our interventions has never been more evident.”