Web Administrator Fri 30 Jan 2015 updated: Fri 05 Feb 2016
Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful is calling on everyone across Northern Ireland to show their support to the new 'Live Here Love Here' campaign which has been created to encourage the public to embrace their civic pride and take personal responsibility towards the environment and their local community to create positive change.
An estimated c£7m is lost annually in tourism spend due to litter on our coastline and with the cost of cleaning Northern Ireland's streets and countryside at £21 per person the project is seeking to drive behavioural change and empower the wider community.
Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful working in partnership with the Department of the Environment, Tourism Northern Ireland and twelve Local Councils* is aiming to achieve cleaner streets; reduce dog fouling; chewing gum and graffiti; improve use of derelict buildings and see the careful development of greenspace.
Environment Minister, Mark H Durkan pledging his personal support for the campaign said: "The environment is one of our greatest assets and one that deserves to be cherished, protected and enhanced. It belongs to all of us and it is right and proper that we should all embrace that responsibility.
"Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful has an enviable track record in encouraging the involvement of the community and my department is proud to be part of this initiative. Working with and empowering people to find innovative ways of creating positive changes that both benefit the environment and the local economy is at the very heart of my vision for the North. I would encourage everyone to join me in pledging support to the Live Here Love Here campaign."
Belfast Lord Mayor Nichola Mallon hosted the launch event at the City Hall today and commented: "The Live Here Love Here campaign has been developed to encourage people in Northern Ireland to take pride in where they come from - it is very much the public's campaign and seeks to bring about positive changes that we all want to see in our communities. As one of the partners of this campaign, Belfast City Council is eager to help build momentum to create really positive outcomes sure to benefit all."
Speaking at the launch of the campaign Dr Ian Humphreys, Chief Executive at Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful said "In Northern Ireland we are lucky - around every corner are stunning landscapes which offer picturesque views and through this new campaign we want the public to embrace their sense of civic pride and play their role in both improving their neighbourhoods and helping to protect the environment.
"The stark reality is that we suffer a £40m bill for street cleaning per year. The bill for vandalism is £69 million and for graffiti £38 million. If we can move people away from these behaviours and act to redress them, there are huge gains to be won creating opportunities to invest for our future. Working together we can build that sense of community pride that will make our neighbourhoods so much better. We would encourage everyone to show their commitment today through the website www.liveherelovehere.org and make that one positive change to encourage people across Northern Ireland to show that they love where they live by helping out in their local communities."
Stephen Finlay, Corporate Development Director at Tourism Northern Ireland commented, "Tourism Northern Ireland is proud to support the 'Live Here, Love Here' initiative. Our visitors value a clean, beautiful environment so it is essential that we take care of our greatest asset in order to attract visitors and increase spend to the local economy. We share Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful's vision of a clean, green Northern Ireland. Practical initiatives like the 'Live Here, Love Here' Campaign will help increase civic pride and deliver a pristine environment for our tourists to enjoy."
A wide range of local personalities, consumers and businesses have already shown their support for this campaign. View their thoughts on Northern Ireland and the Live Here Love Here campaign in this video.
As well as supporting local volunteering, the campaign is providing small grants to community groups across Northern Ireland to help them build their community spirit with the next round of funding expected in late Spring 2015.