Charities/Social Enterprises: Funding

Oral Answers to Questions — Communities – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 2:30 pm on 30 November 2021.

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Photo of Rosemary Barton Rosemary Barton UUP 2:30, 30 November 2021

T5. Mrs Barton asked the Minister for Communities for an update on the £5 million that was allocated in the Budget for charities and social enterprises. (AQT 1855/17-22)

Photo of Deirdre Hargey Deirdre Hargey Sinn Féin

We are working on a scheme at the moment, so we have been engaging with the charities sector to look at the additional support that it needs. As the Member has recognised, the Executive gave money a few months ago to look at culture, arts and heritage and charities. I hope to go live with the scheme as soon as possible. Once officials have come back on how to take it forward, I will alert the House and the Committee.

Photo of Rosemary Barton Rosemary Barton UUP

We are some eight months into this and heading towards the end of the financial year. Is there a possibility that time may run out to get that funding out to organisations that desperately need it? Surely that is paramount.

Photo of Deirdre Hargey Deirdre Hargey Sinn Féin

We have been working on that. A lot of those organisations have received funding throughout the year from the moneys that were already there. We have engaged with the charity sector to look at what the clear need is now so that we can take it forward before the end of this financial year. The programme has been designed with the charity sector in order to meet the needs. I am confident that we can get something out and get the money spent by the end of this year.