Ministers provide additional funding for town centre Covid recovery

Date published: 08 December 2020


Communities Minister Caral Ní Chuilín and Rural Affairs Minister Edwin Poots have announced a further allocation of £1.7m to councils as part of the Department for Communities’ Covid-19 Recovery Revitalisation Programme.

An additional £1.7m for Covid-19 Recovery Revitalisation Programme

Announcing the additional funding, Minister Ní Chuilín said:

“This is undoubtedly a difficult time for our high streets.  I introduced this programme as a way to deliver tangible support to businesses and councils and I am pleased to be able to announce this further funding today which brings the total investment in this programme to £19.3m.

“I have worked closely with Executive colleagues and councils to ensure that this collaborative Programme addresses the needs of citizens and businesses to create a safer environment for all.  The grant schemes offered by councils through this Programme have proved very popular with businesses.  This new funding will allow additional businesses to create a more Covid-secure experience for shoppers and workers alike.”  

The Programme, has now allocated a total of £19.3m to help every council to make their town and city centres a safer environment for everyone. This includes £12m from the Department for Communities, £5m from the Department for Infrastructure and £2.3m from the Department for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs.

Minister Poots added:

“I am pleased to provide this additional £300,000 from my Department’s Tackling Rural Poverty and Social Isolation budget to the Covid-19 Recovery Revitalisation Programme. There is high level of demand for this grant aid support and I hope that it will assist rural businesses invest in equipment and facilities that will provide a safe environment for customers and staff in our villages and rural towns. 

“Rural businesses are key to ensuring the sustainability of our rural communities and I want to encourage people to shop local when they can. I know that our businesses are doing all they can to make this as safe and convenient as possible.”

To date, councils have used around £7m of Programme funding to establish a number of grant schemes for businesses. The additional funding announced today will be used to provide further support for these schemes, with £1.4m from DfC going towards grants in the larger urban towns and £300,000 from DAERA providing similar business support in smaller rural settlements.

Notes to editors: 

  1. The Covid-19 Recovery Revitalisation Programme, which was first launched in July, was created by the Department for Communities to allow councils to create a safer environment for shoppers, visitors and workers. 
  2. The first tranche of funding issued to councils in August 2020.  The second tranche was paid to councils in November.
  3. Some of the funding has been used by councils to introduce business support grants in their areas.  The remaining funding is being used by councils to deliver a wide range of regeneration projects which will support their towns cities and rural settlements to recover from the impact of Covid-19.
  4. Media enquiries to DFC Press Office on email
  5. The Executive Information Service operates an out of hours service for media enquiries between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The duty press officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.
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