Finance Minister, Conor Murphy has launched the £20.5 million Dormant Accounts Fund which will provide vital funding to the voluntary, community and social enterprise sectors.
The Dormant Accounts Fund will be delivered by The National Lottery Community Fund. Multi-year grants of up to £100,000 will be available to build organisations’ resilience and sustainability.
Visiting Footprints social enterprise in West Belfast this morning, Minister Murphy said: “The establishment of the Dormant Accounts Fund is great news for the community, voluntary and social enterprise sectors. While the Fund currently is £20.5 million it will increase as further Dormant Funds are made available each year.
“Third sector groups are often limited to annual funding, causing constant uncertainty and hindering long-term planning. By offering multi-year funding, this Fund will give groups a bridge to become more financially sustainable. Ultimately this allows them to have an even greater impact on people’s lives.”
Alongside the grant fund, the Dormant Accounts Fund will also support larger, strategic projects that will enable collaboration right across the sector and develop new and creative approaches to sustainability. These could be NI-wide or sector specific proposals which might focus on a particular issue such as diversity and inclusion, social finance or volunteering.
Highlighting what the Dormant Account Fund will support, Kate Beggs, The National Lottery Community Fund’s NI Director, added: “The launch of this fund is a milestone for the community and voluntary sector in Northern Ireland. While 2020 has been a year of emergency funding, we know many organisations are trying to plan for the long term and thinking about the changes they need to make to become more sustainable. Those changes require leadership, strategic planning, new skills and strong governance – and also time to stop and think. Those are things for which funding often isn’t available and that’s where the Dormant Accounts Fund comes in. It will provide flexible, multi-year funding and allow a diverse range of organisations to plan for a more secure future.”
The Dormant Accounts Fund will open for applications at noon on Tuesday 12 January. Further information is available at https://www.tnlcommunityfund.org.uk/funding/programmes/dormant-accounts-fund.
Notes to editors:
- Footprints Women’s Centre was established in the Colin area 1991, providing essential services to women and children. It operates a social enterprise approach to its work, opening Northern Ireland’s first social supermarket in 2017.
- A copy of the Minister’s statement to the Assembly can be viewed at: https://www.finance-ni.gov.uk/publications/statement-assembly-dormant-accounts-fund
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