A further round of funding proposals totaling €1.85M was approved by the NEIC Programme Implementation Board at its meeting held on 24th February 2021. This latest round of approvals brings the total approved to €3.8M of the overall €6.5M allocated by the Government to the North East Inner City Initiative for 2021. All 2021 projects approved to date are listed under the relevant Sub-Group heading on the attached table Appendix 1. The table will be updated on an ongoing basis as further funding proposals are approved. The projects approved at the February Board Meeting are as follows:
Sub-Group 1 – Enhanced Policing
Operation Cribbage (Additional Policing resources for Liberty Park & Environs) – €370,000
This policing operation has been funded by NEIC since May 2019 and this allocation extend it to end 2021. The funding covers the direct costs of dedicated additional daily Garda patrols in the Liberty Park / Railway St. area from 8:00 a.m. – 22:00. This was in response to a recognition that the area was the location for persistent high incidence of criminality, anti-social behaviour and open drug dealing. The funding has enabled the deployment of full time uniform patrols supported by intelligence led covert operations and CCTV to provide a dynamic policing response for local residents who were exposed to the daily incidences of anti-social
behaviour, drug dealing and associated criminality.
The policing initiative is complementary to a wider community led NEIC project (UL22) aimed at reclaiming Liberty Park and reimagining it as a local amenity together with Dublin City Council’s medium term plan for redevelopment of the Park.
Sub-Group 2 – Maximising Educational, Training & Employment Opportunities
School Principals Network – MA in Education (Special Option Poverty and Social Inclusion in Education – €42,900)
This funding is for the second year of the bursary for a Masters in Education – Special Option: Poverty and Social Inclusion aimed specifically at primary school teachers in the NEIC. The bursary has one teacher from each of the 11 NEIC primary schools participating on the programme. The Masters programme is delivered on a part-time basis – two evenings per week – by Dublin City University, and therefore does not impact on teaching time.
Sub-Group 4 – Enhanced Community Wellbeing and the Physical Environment
NEIC Greening Strategy 2018-2026 – Selected projects proposed for delivery in 2021 – Total Estimated Cost €545,000
- Dorset Street Central Median – Phase 2
- Clonmore Road, Ballybough – 12 tree pits with under planting
- Oriel Street Upper Plaza – Re-design as pocket park / community space
- Gardiner Street Lower – Central Median
- Gloucester Place Lower./Sean MacDermott Street Junction (Gloucester Diamond) re-alignment
- Buckingham Street (Feasibility Study/Surveys/design – potential linear style park)
- Busáras Island – replace paving with greening and enhance the existing ‘Universal Links on Human Rights’ memorial sculpture.
- Seville Place Greening Intervention (Feasibility Study / Design)
- Allocation for general maintenance and remedial works
- Minor greening interventions and School projects
Community Events Programme 2021 – €325,000
Draft Programme of Community Events to include the flagship Big Scream Halloween Community Festival and North Strand Bombing 80th Anniversary Commemoration.
Sport, Recreation & Wellbeing Programme 2021 – €200,000
The Draft Programme aims to build on some previously successful initiatives and existing activities as well as supporting some new initiatives in response to demand e.g. Exwell and Yoga Instructors Course.
Note: Both the Community Events Programme and the Sport, Recreation & Wellbeing Programme take account of the current high level public health restrictions up to end March and presumes an easing of restrictions thereafter and a gradual return to group activities as the year progresses.
Sub-Group 6 – Alignment of Services
City Connects NEIC Pilot Project – €367,951
Funding allocated for continued implementation of an integrated system of supports for school children and their families through the primary school network. The project is based on a successful US model created by Boston College.
NEIC Programme Office – Overarching all Sub-Groups
Emerging Needs Fund – €250,000
As a result of a significant underspend of the 2020 funding allocation for emerging needs the criteria for accessing this fund are currently being revised.
In the meantime, the NEIC Board has given advance approval for funding under the Emerging Needs heading to meet priority technology needs of NEIC Schools to facilitate remote learning while schools remain closed due to Level 5 restrictions. A total of 457 units (Chromebooks, IPads etc.) have been provided to NEIC Schools at a cost of €96,760. The breakdown is as follows:
Community Grants Scheme 2021 – €100,000
As in previous years it is intended to run an NEIC Community Grants Scheme in 2021. Themes will be agreed, application form and scheme guidelines drawn up in the coming weeks with a view to opening for applications in early April.
Fine Gael Councillor - North Inner City
Leader, Fine Gael, Dublin City Council
Chair, Urban Form & Planning Strategic Policy Committee