ARCHES (Assisting Randalstown Community towards, Harmony, Empowerment and Success) has been in existence since 1995. Its early work was informed by a strategy that had been developed after consultation with the local community – individuals and a range of groups and societies.
Notable events and achievements during that time were the designation of Randalstown as a Conservation Area and the Illumination of the Viaduct. Applications were invited to the first round of EU Peace and Reconciliation funding and ARCHES lost no time in submitting major bids, all of which were successful, a unique achievement among community groups in the province.
1998-2001 were years of intense activity delivering projects funded by Peace and Reconciliation and many other grant providers. Projects included Bridging the Divide with the Viaduct bridge in 1998 and the Launch of Townscape Initiative in 2001.
While some work continued on environmental improvements in 2002-2005, including the construction of ARCHES Mews, the main focus for these years was consolidation and projects aimed at improving people’s lives through a range of training, education and community work provision.
Since 2006 ARCHES has continued to work in co-operation with numerous partners. Some of the projects completed so far include a community playground completed in 2010 and the development of the gap site in the John Street car park at the end of ARCHES Lane was completed in 2011 providing 2 residential flats and one workspace unit. We have worked along with Antrim Borough Council to help develop a Highway to Health Walking Route and worked with Randalstown Pharmacies to develop a Community Pharmacy Project, currently ongoing. We also have continued delivery of a diverse range of training and education courses, from computer skills to First Aid and Sign Language. Over 4,000 people have gone through courses with ARCHES since 2001.
The organisation of the major annual events, the Christmas lights and ARCHES Festival, demand substantial time and effort, from the Board of Directors and staff and from many other volunteers whose help is indispensable.
We have been fortunate in receiving continued financial support from funders as well as generous sponsorship and assistance from local businesses and organisations in making these events not only possible, but successful.
Click here to view all our completed projects