Cross-community work praised – Waterside Shared Village

Waterside Shared Villiage | NICRC

Waterside Shared Village received the Good Relations Connecting Communities Project of the Year award at gala ceremony held in Mosley Mill Newtownabbey on 12 March 2024. The award was sponsored by the Community Foundation for Northern Ireland, and the event was hosted by Mark Simpson.

The Good Relations Awards are held annually by the Community Relations Council and delivered in partnership with The Executive Office.

Waterside Shared Village was set up to create trust between all Derry communities through shared activities and features a community hub, playing pitch, and cricket training area.

DUP Alderman Niree McMorris, who was heavily involved in the creation of the Village project, said:

“The project has brought the two interface communities of Irish Street and Top of the Hill together and has resulted in the development of an iconic shared space and community hub.

“Since opening in 2022 the Village, in partnership with the Council, had delivered cross-community programmes to 14,580 people from across the wider Waterside area.

“They have delivered programmes too that help participants deal with the past and look to the future, like shared education, sport and after-school provision.

“Through facilitating and encouraging movement between areas, the project has created a more cohesive society, a reduction in segregation, and an increase in mutual respect for cultural differences.”

Sinn Féin Councillor Christopher Jackson believes the project demonstrates the importance of investing in communities.

He said: “We secured €8 million for the shared village, and hundreds of thousands to support communities, to get us to this stage.

“The awards, the recognition, and relationships wouldn’t have been possible without investments from Europe.”

Now, following this recent Good Relations Award win, Derry City and Strabane District Council will host a reception for Waterside Shared Village in Derry~Londonderry.