Ards Development Bureau & Community Network

Ards Development Bureau and Community Network is based at 43-45 Frances Street in Newtownards town centre provides community development support services and facilities to the entire Ards Borough Council area with additional support and weak infrastructure work targeted at areas of greatest disadvantage.

The Network is managed by a voluntary Board of Directors consisting of community representatives and currently has 120 member groups and organisations. The support services provided by ADBCN to the local community and voluntarygroups are summarised below:

  • Training / capacity building;
  • Training office – IT to group development community planning (needs based analysis);
  • Administrative Support;
  • Facilities – Physical location, shared office facilities for community and voluntary sector groups and organisations and resource facilities;
  • Room users;
  • Strength to Strength;
  • Networking Centre;
  • NI Lobbying Workshop on themed issues;
  • Support local residents (four outreach centres);
  • Peace Building.

Current Ards Development Bureau and Community Network Projects:

01 Community Development

Outreach and community development support service for member groups to promote self help activities and increased volunteering.

02 Practical Support

Practical support and help to local community groups to enable them to address development, governance and resourcing / sustainability issues.

03 Development and Support

Identify gaps in community infrastructure and develop and support new groups, providing advice, signposting, interpreting and dissemination of information through regular Network News, websites and daily community contact work on the ground (e.g. through the Community Investment Fund Programme).

04 Support for Local Residents

Support for local resident groups through estate based outreach community resource centres. Develop and facilitate skills training and capacity building programmes with an emphasis on weak infrastructure work in areas of high social need and exclusion to build and strengthen local communities (e.g. Areas at Risk Projects in Scrabo and Beechfield communities).

05 Programme of Personal Development

Delivery of a range of Health and Wellbeing courses, awareness raising, workshops and social activities through a programme of personal development with an emphasis on tackling health inequalities within local communities (e.g. Joint IFH / Council and Networks Partnership Project).

06 Network Opportunities

Networking opportunities and providing an interface with key statutory agencies and other organisations – providing a locus for lobbying, consultation and local community planning in the Ards Borough Area. With an emphasis on building more cohesive and sustainable communities, actively targeting social need and social exclusion (e.g. Local Community Planning Projects and Cluster Community Engagement Project with Community Places and PEACE III).

07 Promotion

Promotion of a cohesive and transparent vision of community renewal, aiding the transformation of communities by dealing with the past and supporting communities out of conflict (e.g. PEACE III Capacity Building Initiative).

08 Community Network Centre

A community networking resource centre providing infrastructure support to local groups, shared accommodation, meeting rooms, administrative services, IT, training and conference facilities and back room services (e.g. Ards DSD Modernisation Capital Project).

09 Community Development Network

Strategic promotion of community development support services across the region through Community Development Networks Forum (CDNF).