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Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon

Local Residents, Businesses, Council Staff & Councillors Work Up a Sweat for Charity!

Pictured at Go East for India instructor led spin class, Fiona Greenfield, Councillor Paul Greenfield, Alderman Gareth Wilson and South Lake Leisure Centre team member.

Last week saw local residents, businesses, council staff and councillors run, cycle and paddle to help raise vital funds for the Oxfam India Covid-19 Appeal – with donations still open!

Led by Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council, the calorie busting fundraiser got into gear on Tuesday 8 June at South Lake Leisure Centre – seeing everyone from fitness fanatics to those up for a challenge take part in instructor-led spin classes, a biathlon involving running and kayaking at Craigavon Lakes and a day long spin-a-thon.

While the fundraising challenge reached the finish line on Friday 11 June, donations continue to roll in and will continue to be accepted until Wednesday 30 June 2021.

Funds raised will help Oxfam distribute PPE and medical equipment to hospitals and health centres; provide food and cash to the most vulnerable; and remove the barriers to increasing vaccine production and ensure access for everyone.

Thanking everyone who took part in and donated to the charity challenge, Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon, Alderman Glenn Barr commented:

“I’m so pleased to see so many of the borough’s residents, businesses, council staff and elected members get behind this worthy cause and help raise money for the Oxfam India Covid-19 Appeal.

“In council, we’ve forged strong working relationships with many government and business leaders in India since our first trade mission to the country back in 2017. As we witnessed the devastating scenes coming from the region over the past number of weeks, we felt compelled to do something to help the people of India in their hour of need.

“We hope our fundraising efforts will help support Oxfam’s ongoing response to the crisis and I would encourage everyone to continue to donate if they can.”

In 2017, council established a long-standing association with India through the launch of the ‘Export to India – Go East Programme’. This programme enabled businesses from across the borough to take part in a trade mission to India, establishing many positive business partnerships, particularly in the Chennai region.

With donations still open, you can donate to the Oxfam India Covid-19 Appeal here or if you would like to learn more about the appeal click here.

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Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon

New Business Start-Up Grant Scheme Launched

Pictured at the launch of the new Business Start-Up Grant Scheme (L-R) Councillor Declan McAlinden, Chair of Economic Development and Regeneration Committee; Dermot Hicks, representing the partnering enterprise agencies; Alderman Glenn Barr, Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon; and Nicola Wilson, Head of ABC Council Economic Development department.

Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough (ABC) Council launches new Business Start-Up Grant Scheme to support local budding entrepreneurs.

Led by ABC Council in partnership with Armagh Business Centre, Banbridge Enterprise Centre and Craigavon Industrial Development Organisation, the new Scheme will offer a limited number of cash grants of up to £500 to assist with the development of new businesses across the borough.

Now accepting applications, the Scheme is open to new start-ups based in the borough who have joined the Go For It Programme since 1 July 2021, completed their business plan by 30 September 2021 and will begin trading within six months of finishing the Programme, demonstrating the greatest potential for growth.

Speaking at the launch of the Business Start-Up Grant Scheme, Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon, Alderman Glenn Barr said:

“With an abundance of skilled, ambitious and hardworking people, our borough has long been praised as a strong entrepreneurial region. As a council, we recognise the important role entrepreneurs play in ensuring inclusive recovery and growth across our local economy, which is why we are committed to continuing our support within this key business sector.

“We hope this Scheme will help support the creation and sustainability of new business start-ups within the borough; and I would encourage anyone that is eligible to speak to their local enterprise agency to find out more.”  

Helping eligible entrepreneurs fund some of the expenses associated with the start-up process, the grant aid can be used to cover everything from rent, rates, new equipment and stock to training memberships, courses and the fit out of business premises. 

Speaking on behalf of the partnering enterprise agencies, Dermot Hicks said:

“We are delighted to be able to offer this support to emerging businesses in the borough and we hope that it will encourage more people to pursue their passion of starting their own business.”

To find out more about the Programme, eligibility and assessment process, get in touch with your local enterprise agency:

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Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon

Council Makes ‘Summer of Play’ Pledge

Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough (ABC) Council gets behind the ‘Summer of Play’ campaign to help give children the space, time and freedom to play this summer as Covid-19 restrictions ease.

From fun-filled summer schemes, £1 swims, wide-ranging sports sessions to energetic dance clubs, imaginative play programmes and more taking place right across council leisure centres, community centres, parks and open spaces, the borough’s youngest residents are all set to have a summer to remember!

But, wait there’s more! As ABC Council cannot celebrate this year’s National Play Day in the usual way, it will instead be rolling out an exciting new programme, ‘It’s Good to Chalk’ during its summer schemes, play programmes and Love Parks Week initiatives this July and August.

With boxes of wonderfully colourful chalk, children on these programmes can let their imaginations run wild and create everything from beautiful pavement drawings to original outdoor games and activities. What’s more, the programme will encourage the children to talk about their creations, helping them explore and express their thoughts and feelings.

Deputy Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon, Councillor Jackie Donnelly said:

“The pandemic has posed a challenging and uncertain time for many, not least the borough’s children and young people – with many having to spend large periods of time indoors, inactive and isolated from friends.

“Now as Covid-19 restrictions ease, we are delighted to pledge our support to the ‘Summer of Play’ campaign, which champions the importance of children having the time and safe space they need to reconnect and play with each other, and to enjoy a wide range of playful activities, so they can start to recover.

“With so many exciting events, programmes and initiatives happening across our borough, we hope our youngest residents will have the freedom to have endless fun with their friends!”

ABC Council is also encouraging local families to try ‘It’s Good to Chalk’ at home this summer. So, why not grab some chalk and bring all the colours of the rainbow to your own driveway – don’t worry it’ll wash off. 

As we would love to see your creations, please send any pictures of your chalk-filled fun to our Play Development Officer, Joan Noade on: joan.noade@armaghbanbridgecraigavon.gov.uk.

If you would like to find out more about the ‘Summer of Play’ campaign, get tips and advice on all things play, and more visit: https://www.summerofplay.co.uk/.

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