Together: Building a United Community - (TBUC)

The 'Together: Building a United Community' (T:BUC) Strategy, published on 23 May 2013, reflects the Executive’s commitment to improving community relations and continuing the journey towards a more united and shared society.

Together Building a United Community logo

Our commitment to building a united and shared society

You can download the 'Together: Building a United Community' Strategy via the link below:

The Section 75 equality screening form of the 'Together: Building a United Community' Strategy is available at the link below.

Key priorities

The strategy outlines how government, community and individuals will work together to build a united community and achieve change against the following key priorities:

  • our children and young people
  • our shared community
  • our safe community
  • our cultural expression

Each of the four key priorities also has a set of tangible and practical commitments.

T:BUC Update Report 2016/17

This report outlines the positive progress across the headline actions and four key priorities and provides an overview of some of the work taken forward under the strategy.

T:BUC Funding Forums

Hosted by the Good Relations & T:BUC Division, attendees had the opportunity to find out about the Executive Office funding available for good relations programmes at events in local council areas throughout January and February 2018.

Programmes represented included the Central Good Relations Fund, T:BUC Camps Programme, Peace IV, Planned Interventions Fund, District Council Good Relations Programme and the Community Relations Council and Education Authority.

T:BUC Engagement Forum

The T:BUC Engagement Forum has been established to:

Enable government and its associated bodies to update the voluntary & community sector on progress with regard to the implementation of T:BUC; and

Enable the voluntary & community sector to address T:BUC implementation issues, identify good practice and make practical and innovative recommendations for improved delivery.

The inaugural meeting took place on 10 March 2016. Three meetings will be held each year.

If you would like to register your interest in the T:BUC Engagement Forum please contact the Community Relations Council at 028 9022 7500 or For further information including summary records of meetings please follow this link:

T:BUC Engagement Forum newsletter

You can view the T:BUC Engagement Forum newsletters via the link below:

T:BUC Camps Programme

On 15 April 2015, First Minister the Rt Hon Peter D. Robinson MLA and deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness MLA announced the launch of a pilot programme of 100 summer camps for young people. This is one of the headline actions of the Together: Building a United Community Strategy published in May 2013.

Beginning in summer 2015, the programme provided a range of opportunities for young people aged 11 to 19 across Northern Ireland to come together  to build positive relationships across what have become divided parts of our community. The Camps are about challenging historic positions, encouraging debate and discussion and providing a way for young people to get to know each other, try new experiences, have fun and help to build longer term relationships. Camps must be delivered on a cross-community basis.

104 camps received funding in 2016/17, details of these camps can be found via the link below:

Summer Camps Pilot Programme 2015 – Evaluation

A full and independent evaluation of the Summer Camps Pilot Programme 2015 has been carried out by the Strategic Investment Board (SIB).  You can view the Together Building a United Community Summer Camps - Final Evaluation Report below:

T:BUC Camps Programme 2018-19

The T: BUC Camps Programme 2018/19 is now closed for applications.

The Guidance Notes, Application Form (MS Word and PDF versions) are available to download via the links below:

Equality Impact Screening and Statement of Impact

The Section 75 Equality Screening Form of the Together: Building a United Community – Summer Camps Pilot Programme is available at the link below:

If you would like more information about T:BUC Camps Programme, please contact the T:BUC Camps Team.

Rural Impact Statement

It is intended that the Summer Camps Programme would have a positive impact on young people living in both urban and rural areas. In order to rural proof this policy, we have developed a Rural Impact Statement for the programme, which can be viewed via the link below:

United Youth Programme

For our children and young people, we will create 10,000 one year placements in a new 'United Youth' programme.

The programme is designed to give young people who are not in education, employment or training the opportunity to take part in work experience, volunteering and leisure opportunities ,while focusing on good relations and building relationships between divided communities.

United Youth Design Day

In January 2014, the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister held a 'Design Day' in Belfast to shape the new United Youth Programme. The First Minister the Rt Hon Peter D. Robinson MLA and deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness MLA launched the event, meeting over 250 participants including young people and youth organisations who came together to create the new personal development and employability opportunities for young people.

You can view the news release and evaluation report on the 'Design Day' at the links below.

Review of Good Relations Funding delivery

Future funding arrangements must be both strategic and flexible to respond to the differing levels of capacity amongst organisations working to build a united community.

Through the implementation of the Together: Building a United Community Strategy, we will ensure that funding is directed in a way that secures sustainability of the infrastructure that has been established at a local level and that continues to develop the capacity of individuals and organisations working to build good relations across our society.  

Throughout the review of good relations funding delivery process a number of events have been held and an evaluation of the events was carried out.You can view the evaluation report at the link below.

Contested Space/Interface Programme

The Contested Space/Interface Programme was launched in March 2011 and jointly funded by OFMDFM and Atlantic Philanthropies. The budget was £4 million and its key aim was to promote and improve relations between and across disadvantaged communities. Nine projects were funded across Northern Ireland, in urban and rural areas through two phases. During the course of the programme some 16,257 distinct participants were involved ranging across: nursery and pre-school children; primary and post primary pupils; young adults; parents; teaching staff, governors and management committees.

Central Good Relations Funding Programme

The Central Good Relations Funding Programme supports the achievement of the Executive’s strategic objectives relating to good relations.

Aim of the Central Good Relations Fund

The Fund supports productive, time bound projects which contribute to the promotion of good relations and to building a united and shared community.  The programme will support productive time bound projects which contribute to the promotion of good relations. The Central Good Relations Fund is a small central scheme designed to distribute funding in year. The fund does not and will not replace mainstream core or project funding.

Ministerial priorities aimed at building a united, shared and reconciled community are identified in the good relations strategy, Together: Building a United Community, published on 23 May 2013.

You can access the strategy document below:

Application process

The 2018/19 Central Good Relations Funding programme is now closed for applications. Thank you to everyone who applied. If you did not receive an email to acknowledge receipt of your application, please email:

The application process for project funding will close on Friday 23 February 2018 at 2.00pm.

The application process for small grants remains open throughout the year.

All successful project and small grant applicants under the 2018/19 funding programme will be required to deliver projects by 31 March 2019.

How to apply

The guidance notes, application forms and a list of frequently asked questions are available to download via the links below:

Hard copies of these documents may be obtained by emailing the Central Good Relations Funding Programme.

Funding Forums

Instead of holding pre-application workshops as we did last year, The Executive Office plans to hold a Funding Forum in each of the eleven council areas from mid-January to mid-February 2018. The aim of the Funding Forum is to help raise awareness of the range of different funding schemes available and to promote the value of good relations and cross-community work.

Members of the Central Good Relations Team will be available at each of the Funding Forums to discuss the Central Good Relations Fund application process and provide practical help and advice. Further information on the Funding Forums is available in the 2018/19 T:BUC Funding Forum Flyer.

Funding for 2018/19

  • Project Funding 

Applications for Project Funding closed at 2pm on Friday 23 February 2018.

  • Small Grants

Deadline for small grant applications – open throughout 2018/19 for programmes to be delivered by 31 March 2019.

Progress Reports

Guidance notes on when and how to complete and submit a Progress Report and Final Progress Report Checklist can be accessed using the link below:

You can contact the Central Good Relations Funding Programme to request Interim Progress Report, Final Report and Final Report Checklist Templates.

Contact the Central Good Relations Fund team

You can contact TEO for any queries in relation to the funding programme by emailing the Central Good Relations Funding Programme.

District Councils Good Relations Programme

The District Council Good Relations Programme (DCGRP), is delivered as part of the Executive’s wider ‘Together: Building a United Community (T:BUC)’ Strategy. It is funded jointly by the Executive Office and the 11 District Councils.

The key aims of the programme are to improve relations between and within District Council areas and to support local solutions to local good relations issues.

Find out more about the District Councils Good Relations Programme.

Urban Villages Initiative

The Urban Villages Initiative is a headline action within the NI Executive’s Together: Building a United Community (TBUC) Strategy, and is overseen by the Executive Office.  It is designed to improve good relations outcomes and develop thriving places where there has been a history of deprivation and community tension. There are three inter-connected aims:

  1. To foster positive Community Identities;
  2. To build Community Capacity; and
  3. To improve the Physical Environment.

The five Urban Villages areas are:

  • Ardoyne and Greater Ballysillan (North Belfast)
  • Colin (West Belfast)
  • EastSide (East Belfast)
  • Sandy Row, Donegall Pass and the Markets areas (South Belfast)
  • The Bogside, Fountain and Bishop Street (Derry~Londonderry)

For more information or to view the Urban Villages Initiative Strategic Frameworks, access the link below:

The Urban Villages - News

Find out here about what is happening across the five Urban Village areas via the link below:

If you have a story to share about how the Urban Village Initiative has made a difference in your area let us know via email:

Urban Villages FOCUS magazine

Find out what’s happening in your local community with the Urban Villages FOCUS magazines via the link below:

Short films

Below is a short film on each of the five Urban Village Initiative areas.

View footage which captures the voices of local people from the five Urban Village Initiative areas below.

If you have any questions or would like to learn more please contact:

Community Relations Council

The Community Relations Council (CRC) is an Arms Length Body (ALB) of The Executive Office.

CRC is a key delivery agent for departmental good relations policy, including the implementation of the aims and objectives of the T:BUC strategy.

One programme managed by CRC is the North Belfast Strategic Good Relations Programme, which focuses on improving relations between and within communities in North Belfast.

For more information on CRC, visit the Community Relations Council website.

A Shared Future - Policy and Strategic Framework for Good Relations in Northern Ireland

A Shared Future - Policy and Strategic Framework for Good Relations in Northern Ireland was published on Monday 21 March 2005.

If you would like to download a copy of the A Shared Future report please view the links below:

Alternatively if you would like a hard copy please use the contact details below:

Telephone: 028 9052 23182

Good Relations Panel

In A Shared Future, Government made a public commitment to the establishment of a Good Relations Panel.

This cross-departmental group, chaired by the Head of the Northern Ireland Civil Service and supported by officials in OFMDFM, will report to Ministers. The panel which is made up of senior representatives from key departments, representatives from local government, the Housing Executive, the Police Service of Northern Ireland, Equality Commission and the Community Relations Council will harness actions across government.

The responsibilities of the Panel include:

  • co-ordinate long-term actions
  • advise on targeting of resources
  • monitor outcomes
  • develop the actions/priority areas
  • provide joined up coherent action to promote relationship building
  • prepare the Triennial Action Plan underpinned by Section 75
  • establishing a mechanism to involve, on an on-going basis, wider civic society in shaping a triennial action plan

List of publications, speeches and consultations

A number of reports, consultations and speeches have been published relating to the A Shared Future Policy. Please see below link to download the list of documents available.

If you would like to receive an electronic or hard copy of any report listed please use the contact information below:

Telephone: 028 9037 8201.

Community Relations and Cultural Awareness Week 2017

Community Relations and Cultural Awareness Week 2017 takes place from 18 – 24 September 2017. The theme this year is Safe Space, Shared Place. This ties in with the T:BUC priorities of Our Shared Community and Our Safe Community although the events cover a whole range of T:BUC activities. It will coincide again with International Day of Peace on 21 September and Culture Night on 22 September.

This week provides a platform for organisations and groups from the community and voluntary public sectors to showcase innovative approaches to good relations and building a united and shared community. With over 160 events across every Council area, there will be something to suit all interests including sport, drama, film, food, arts, culture, music, debate, talks and tours.

The programme of events is coordinated by the Community Relations Council in conjunction with a co-design group involving the Executive Office and other NICS Departments.

The T:BUC Engagement Forum, a key part of the week took place on Tuesday 19 September in the Dunsilly Hotel, Antrim.

For more information as to what took place in your area please download the Community Relations and Cultural Awareness Week 2017 brochure via their website.

Back to top