The formation of the Belfast Conflict Resolution Consortium (BCRC) in 2007 came as a result of over 12 months discussions between republican, loyalist and community activists engaged in conflict management at Belfast’s interfaces. These discussions focused on the need to provide a citywide approach enabling longer term strategies rather than short term isolated actions at individual interfaces in the city. The BCRC was therefore set up to provide a citywide approach to conflict transformation.
The project aims to assist and complement existing grassroots organisations, provide practical assistance and training opportunities and enable the sharing of best practice. BCRC has also developed a citywide practitioner network to provide an integrated response to tension at interfaces and to develop best practice for conflict intervention. One of the project’s overarching aims is to build cross community strategic to address disadvantaged people and social problems in interface communities. The large majority of BCRC’s staff and steering group, as well as key area volunteers, live in the interface and working class areas in which they work. They are deeply involved in local groups as members of committees and volunteers.
The current phase of the project is supported by the Peace III Programme, managed for the Special EU Programmes Body by the Community Relations Council/Pobal Consortium. The project builds upon the successful pilot that was delivered during April 2007-June 2009, supported under the Peace II funding stream.
The project currently employs a team of 8 staff which is given operational direction from the Project Manager and the lead agency, Falls Community Council, as well as strategic direction from its steering group and partner organisations Charter NI, EPIC and Intercomm.
The BCRC is funded by the EU Regional Development Fund.