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MLA Liz Kimmins has welcomed the announcement from the Finance Minister that more than £20 million will be made available for the community and voluntary sector from the Dormant Accounts Fund. 

Finance Minister, Conor Murphy launched the £20.5 million Dormant Accounts Fund at the weekend. The fund will provide vital funding to the voluntary, community and social enterprise sectors.

Kate Beggs, The National Lottery Community Fund’s NI Director, Finance Minister Conor Murphy and Isobel Loughran, Chief Executive at Footprints Women's Centre
Announcing £20.5M Fund - Kate Beggs, The National Lottery Community Fund’s NI Director with Finance Minister Conor Murphy and Isobel Loughran, Chief Executive at Footprints Women's Centre.

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 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.”

Liz Kimmins MLA.

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 WWW.TNLCOMMUNITYFUND.ORG.UK

Speaking of the fund Newry and Armagh MLA, Liz Kimmins said "This £20.5M fund will provide funding to the voluntary, community and social enterprise sectors with grants of up to £100,000.

"This is great news for these groups, particularly as it includes multi-year funding, which will allow groups to plan into the future.

"Community groups and social enterprise organisations carry out vital work across society and it is great to see them being supported with this fund."

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