Murphy announces £290m package including over £130m to support business

Date published: 21 January 2021

Finance Minister, Conor Murphy today allocated over £290 million as part of COVID-19 and January monitoring round allocations.

Finance Minister Conor Murphy standing in an office, looking to camera.

Following bids from departments, £216 million of Covid-19 funding and over £75 million of routine January monitoring funding is being allocated to support businesses and a range of sectors including education, tourism and transport.

Outlining the COVID allocations, Minister Murphy said: “Businesses continue to face immense challenges. These allocations include an additional £100 million for my Department’s Localised Restrictions Support Scheme to ensure this can continue providing financial assistance to businesses. So far over £120 million has issued to over 11,000 businesses through this scheme. 

“£16 million has been allocated to support the tourism and hospitality sector.

“A further £20 million is being provided for additional funding for the Company Directors Scheme.

“And I’m pleased the Executive have agreed my proposal to extend the 12 months rates holiday to local newspapers which are a key part of the fabric of society.

The Minister continued: “£7.5 million is also being allocated to meet the challenges of education through COVID including resources for blended learning and support for childcare.

“All bids submitted by Departments have been met in full.”

In relation to the unallocated funding, Conor Murphy said: “I have joined with the Scottish and Welsh Finance Minister in asking Treasury for additional flexibility to carry over Covid funding. However, we have not yet received a response and therefore I have asked Executive colleagues to urgently bring forward proposals to support, in particular, those sectors or individuals that have so far not received financial assistance.

“We must do all we can to provide much needed support for businesses and individuals to help them through these restrictions. I have asked for further proposals to come forward to enable the Executive to agree further allocations next week.”

The January monitoring allocations are as follows:

•         £45 million – Department for Infrastructure - for DVA Reinstatement of Reserves (£10 million) & Translink (£35 million).

•         £18.1 million – Department of Education - for costs of providing ICT to the Education Authority and carrying out minor capital works across the education sector. 

•         £9.7 million – Department for Economy – Higher Education Quality Research and Further Education Colleges Pay Remit.

•         £3.5 million – DAERA – Financial Discipline reimbursement due from the EU.

•         £0.3 million – Public Prosecution Service – Dilapidation Costs

Notes to editors: 

  1. Written Ministerial Statement outlining January Monitoring Round and COVID-19 allocations can be viewed here.
  2. Full Covid-19 allocations can be viewed here.
  3. Media enquiries should be addressed to the Department of Finance Press Office at:
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