About Ulster Garden Villages

Welcome to Ulster Garden Villages Limited (Registered with The Charity Commission for Northern Ireland NIC101248 Reg. No. IP000083).  We aim to make a real and lasting difference to the lives of people in Northern Ireland.  The Common Fund is the bedrock of our grant-making and we continue to support a wide range of charitable activities in Northern Ireland.  The assisted charities must demonstrate a clear need and evidence of the impact of their work along with their capacity to deliver, govern and sustain the initiative.

Our grants are conditional on the applicants successfully using our funding to leverage funds from other sources and this continues to work well and in many cases has enabled projects to become funded more rapidly.

In addition to our grant-making activities the provision of housing and property stock is one of our primary objectives.

 Information on our Grant-making can be found in the Annual Report and Financial Statements. The Report contains a detailed list of projects supported and shows the breadth of charitable activities that have been recently supported.

Meetings are held quarterly to consider Grant Applications. The closing dates for Applications can be found in the ‘News’ section of this website.

Ulster Garden Villages Limited (‘The Association’) was established under the Industrial and Provident Societies Act (Northern Ireland) in 1946 with the principal objective of providing good quality housing and associated amenities for the disadvantaged and aged.

Since that time government’s approach to housing has changed dramatically and in Northern Ireland the establishment of the Northern Ireland Housing Executive and the Housing Association movement has largely catered for housing needs.

In 1983, the Committee of Ulster Garden Villages took the necessary steps to convert the Association into a registered charity and under its amended regulations empowered it to transfer from reserves to a Common Fund amounts to be available for such general charitable purposes, not necessarily connected with housing, as the Committee shall from time to time determine.

Ulster Garden Villages Limited is registered with the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland (NIC 101248) and with the Inland Revenue (XN72342).

To read more about our examples of our funded projects and impact - please view our latest Impact report

Objectives and Activities

The objects of the Association are:

a) to carry on, for the benefit of the community, the business of providing housing and any associated amenities for persons in necessitous circumstances upon terms appropriate to their means.

b) to provide, for aged persons in need therof, housing and any associated amenities, specially designed or adapted to meet the disabilities and requirements of such persons;
c) to carry out such added purposes which are charitable under the law of Northern Ireland as the Association shall from time to time determine and to use any of the Association’s funds including accumulations of past profits not required for the purposes of (a) or (b) for such charitable purposes as the Committee shall from time to time determine.

Housing and Associated Amenities

Ulster Garden Villages was founded over 70 years ago and by March 1950 had built and founded Merville Garden Village, Northern Ireland’s first ‘Garden Village’ with 450 houses, flats and shops and significantly, with Community Centre, Little Theatre and extensive gardens. The Village created a sense of community togetherness and involvement, rather than simply providing houses for those who needed accommodation.

Other developments followed at Abbots Cross, Fernagh in Whiteabbey and at new Garden Villages in Muckamore and Whitehead.  Although the Association has sold a significant proportion of the original properties, it continues to manage the estates at Merville, Abbots Cross and provides housing and associated amenities in Newtownabbey, Whitehead and at Garvey Court, Lisburn (a development of apartments for older people).

The Common Fund

In pursuit of Object (c ) the Association primarily allocates funds to or for projects within Northern Ireland which will have a positive impact on Northern Ireland.  Funds are not given retrospectively and it is not usual to give grants for office expenses, core salaries or administrative staff salaries.

In addition to outright grants, assistance may be given by way of loans which may carry certain conditions at the discretion of the Committee.  The purpose of any application must be charitable and normally the Committee will only consider requests from registered charities.

Applications for grants are made on the Ulster Garden Villages application form and also require applicants to submit their most recent certified accounts.  Further information is available in the ‘Guidelines for Applicants’ section of this website and copies of the application form and guidelines are also available from the registered office on request.

To request a copy of The Story of Ulster Garden Villages Ltd – ‘Making a Difference’ publication, Please email admin@ulstergardenvillages.co.uk or telephone the office on T. 02890 491111.

Committee of Management

Mrs Susan Crowe FCA (Chair)

Mr Kevin Baird  

Mrs Martie Boyd MBE

Mr Erskine Holmes OBE

Dame Rotha Johnston DBE

Mr Colin Walsh MBE

Mr William Webb MBE


Sir Desmond Lorimer FCA 


Mr William Webb MBE

Chief Executive Officer

Mrs Caroline Armstrong