Communities Minister Carál Ní Chuilín has announced that 421 projects from the voluntary and community sector have been supported with £1.36million in grants through her Department’s 2020/21 Small Capital Grants Programme.
The programme, which is delivered on behalf of the Department by Co-operation Ireland, is aimed at assisting voluntary and community organisations, working in partnership, to purchase items of equipment that will help to enhance and sustain the activities they provide to their local communities.
Grants of up to £5,000 can be used to purchase items such as IT equipment, sporting equipment, catering equipment and materials to support arts and cultural activities.
This year’s programme has provided support to 1,491 voluntary and community organisations working in partnership. Successful applications included 125 projects seeking help as part of Covid recovery with grants towards the purchase of equipment to allow normal business to continue with social distancing in the open air. IT equipment was also funded to assist with the delivery of services online rather than face-to-face.
Commenting on the reach of the Small Capital Grants Programme, Communities Minister Carál Ní Chuilín, said: “I am delighted to see so many small voluntary organisations receive much needed support to help them continue to deliver vital services to their local community.
“I am fully aware of the difficulties that the sector is facing at this time and this programme is specifically designed to bring groups together and work in partnership to ensure that service provision is maintained for the most vulnerable in our society.
“This is the third year that Co-operation Ireland has delivered the programme in collaboration with my Department and I would like to thank Peter Sheridan and his team for all their hard work to ensure the funding reaches those most in need.”
Peter Sheridan, Chief Executive of Co-operation Ireland, added: “The Small Capital Grants Programme continues to directly impact communities across Northern Ireland in a positive way and Co-operation Ireland is proud to assist in the delivery of the scheme. We look forward to continuing our relationship with the Department for Communities and the hundreds of community groups who will benefit from this fantastic programme.”
Notes to editors:
1. Photo caption: Communities Minister Carál Ní Chuilín is pictured with Peter Sheridan, Chief Executive of Co-operation Ireland, at the launch of the Small Capital Grants Programme in July 2020.
2. The budget for the Small Capital Grants Programme was originally £800,000, as in previous years the programme was heavily oversubscribed. A successful bid for additional budget increased the available funding to £1.36m.
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