Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council has agreed to submit an Expression of Interest (E.O.I.) application for the UK City of Culture 2025.
Organised by the UK Government Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport every four years, this process invites places from across the UK to bid for the title by setting out their vision for culture-led regeneration.
Following a full council meeting on Monday (28 June 2021), members unanimously agreed the bid will focus on the historical city of Armagh, and also showcase the all-embracing heritage, culture and creativity right across the borough.
Council will now take the lead to submit the Expression of Interest in July 2021 with an update report to be brought back to the Economic Development and Regeneration Committee in September.
Welcoming council’s decision, Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough, Alderman Glenn Barr said,
“I’m delighted to announce that we will put forward an expression of interest for the UK City of Culture 2025, and I want to thank my fellow members for giving this their full support.
“This is a unique opportunity that would see a major boost in tourism and catalyst for future growth, providing a powerful stimulant for recovery, attracting investment and driving forward positive economic potential.
“We are proud of our borough – our city, towns and villages, and our people who take great pride in the place we live. We want to celebrate and showcase our unique heritage and culture and this would give us the perfect platform.”
The first UK City of Culture was awarded to Derry-Londonderry in 2013, Hull in 2017 and Coventry in 2021
Council is seeking funding support from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport of up to £40,000 to help develop the application along with key stakeholders.
The selection process involves a panel of 11 members, including representatives for Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and England, visiting each of the shortlisted places to be announced later this year, before each applicant makes a final pitch to become the next UK City of Culture. The winning area will be announced in May 2022.
Stay Ahead of the Game with Council’s Coach and Club Development Programme
Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council is offering local sports clubs and coaches a range of specialised training opportunities as part of its just launched 2021-22 Coach Education and Club Development Programme.
Delivered in partnership with Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon (ABC) Sports Forum, the Programme will include a mixture of online and in-person workshops, covering topics such as safeguarding children and young people, designated officer, emergency first aid and mental health in sport.
Speaking at the launch, Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon, Alderman Glenn Barr said:
“I am pleased to officially launch our 2021-22 Coach Education and Club Development Programme. As a council, we recognise and value the important role local clubs and coaches play in guiding and inspiring lifelong participation and success in sport.
“Through this year’s Programme – which offers both online and face-to-face training opportunities – we are committed to supporting the development of clubs, coaches and volunteers at all levels to ensure the borough’s sporting community continue to excel.”
With workshops taking place from September 2021 to March 2022, the Programme also offers training opportunities around club development planning, income generation, attracting and retaining club members as well as provides participants with the chance to attend practical-based workshops such as creating great sports environments for children, and disability inclusion training.
Chair of Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Sports Forum Edith Jamison said:
“With such a wide range of workshops on offer there is something relevant and innovative for our clubs, coaches and volunteers at all levels to support their ongoing development. I would encourage all clubs, coaches and volunteers throughout the Borough to get involved and benefit from the great programme on offer.”
Varying per workshop, costs are heavily subsidised and are payable upon registration.
Affiliated members of ABC Sports Forum can avail of these workshops free of charge and will receive separate booking instructions and voucher codes. To find out more about the content of each workshop or to book your place, visit here or download a copy of the brochure here.
All Stars Summer Scheme Brings Brighter Days for Local Children
An amazing 37 local young people delight in new found skills, confidence and friendships, thanks to Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council’s popular, fun-filled All Stars Summer Scheme.
Based at Gilford Recreation Centre, the All Stars Summer Scheme brings young people with disabilities aged between seven and 17 together to enjoy a range of inclusive activities during a series of weeklong sessions in July and August.
Taking part in everything from nature walks, climbing wall activities, outdoor games, inclusive bike sessions to dance classes, boccia, kurling, arts and crafts and more, participants got the chance to build new skills, increase their confidence and activity levels as well as forge new, life-long friendships.
Joining in on the fun and visiting the All Stars Summer Scheme sessions, Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon, Alderman Glenn Barr said:
“It’s been an absolute joy to meet this year’s All Stars Summer Scheme participants and hear all about the fun things they’ve been getting up to.
“For many disabled young people, the pandemic has had a huge impact on their everyday lives and normal social routines – negatively affecting their growth and development of important life skills. All Stars Summer Scheme is so critically important to these young people and their families as it not only helps provide opportunities to stimulate participants’ social and emotional development but also helps boost their confidence and independence.”
David Alderdice, Community Access Officer, Children with Disabilities Service from the Southern Health and Social Care Trust said:
“The All Stars Summer Scheme has once again proven to be a fantastic opportunity for children and young people with a disability. A considerable amount of planning goes into ensuring the smooth running of the Scheme, by both council and trust, with council staff demonstrating diligence and enthusiasm throughout.”
Led by qualified instructors and coaches, all activities were adapted and tailored to maximise involvement of all participants, provide fun and excitement as well as exposure to new opportunities. With one parent saying the programme has improved their “daughters’ confidence and enabled them to try new activities” while another parent said the programme has supported their child “to socialise with other children again, helping them gain the independence to have fun away from family.”
David Alderdice continued:
“Together this collaborative approach has enabled children who avail of the scheme to achieve improved self-esteem; the development of friendships and social skills; the opportunity to try new activities; and of course have ‘fun’. This is a great example of two public bodies coming together and collaborating to deliver a quality service that addresses the needs of some of the most excluded children within society.”
Organised and delivered by ABC Council’s Sports Development Department, All Stars is supported by the Southern Health and Social Care Trust.