During the five-year period for which figures are readily available (
DETI offered £92,248 under the EU Special Support Programme for Peace and Reconciliation's (Peace I) Interest Relief Subsidy Scheme (a scheme offered through local banks, subject to scrutiny by DETI and the European Investment Bank). This was notified to the European Commission and clearance received.
DETI offered £270,000 under the EU Programme for Peace and Reconciliation (Peace II) for workspace units (not related to the ANG's printing and publishing of newspapers.) This was assessed against state aid rules and was deemed not to be state aid as the support was not considered to have the potential to distort competition.
The Local Enterprise Development Unit (a predecessor body of Invest NI) provided funding for marketing, employment and management salary grants. This funding was issued under a notified scheme approved by the European Union Commission.
Support of £37,056 for training and development was provided under the Company Development Programme (CDP)(now managed by Invest NI). In 1993 the Commission formally acknowledged CDP as a regional aid scheme. In 1998 the Commission required all training support to be compliant with a new framework on training aid. At that stage action to re-notify was started but not followed through. To address this the block exemption report on CDP issued to the Commissioners on
DETI are providing funding of £4,000 via InterTradeIreland 1 through the Acumen programme. This programme is designed to stimulate cross-border trade by assisting individual SME's with tailored consultancy and sales salary support mechanisms. The programme is a partnership funded by Invest NI, Enterprise Ireland (in the Republic of Ireland) and InterTradelreland. The programme was treated as exempt under the SME Block Exemption. This has been registered with the European Commission
Funding of £33,500 provided by OFMDFM was for the Irish language newspaper Lá. As it was the only Irish language newspaper in existence OFMDFM took the view that there was no distortion or potential distortion of competition and consequently the state aid rules would not be applicable.
Peace I funding of £5,095 was provided by DFP under the District Partnerships Sub Programme for which Department of the Environment had oversight. This funding was for accommodation and administration costs. The amount involved did not exceed €100,000 and accordingly was within the Commission's established relevant de-minimis arrangements for small amounts of aid.
DFP in Northern Ireland and the Department of Finance in the Republic of Ireland, have approved funding of £199,150 in respect of a joint application from Preas an Phobail and Comharchumann Forbartha. Funding is for the expansion of Lá in selected border areas. The funding complies with state aid regulations on the basis that it is the only existing Irish language newspaper and does not have the potential to distort competition between EU member states.
The Arts Council for Northern Ireland (a non-departmental public body of DCAL) provided £54,400 funding towards the production of La. The amount involved did not exceed €100,000 and accordingly was within the Commission's established relevant de-minimis arrangements for small amounts of aid.
DCAL, through Foras na Gaeilge 2 the Irish Language Agency, has provided funding of £148,439 for the publication of La. DCAL has been advised by Foras that the aid is compatible with European Union law on state aid.
DSD provided £277,375 under the Department's Urban Development Grant (UDG) scheme (
DSD also provided £70,000 via Making Belfast Work (MBW) (March 2000). MBW is designed to augment mainstream spend by Departments in the most deprived areas of Belfast across a range of community interventions. At the time of funding, the Andersonstown News was a local community newspaper which did not trade across boundaries, and the content of which meant that it was not considered to have the potential to be tested across national boundaries. Following an internal economic appraisal the grant was not considered to support a tradable activity because the paper was unique and covered only local community issues. This funding was therefore not considered to be a notifiable state aid.
1 InterTradeIreland (the Trade and Business Development Body) is funded jointly by DETI in Northern Ireland and the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment (DETE) in the Republic of Ireland. DETI contributes 33.3 per cent. and DETE 66.6 per cent. of the funding.
2 Foras na Gaeilge (the Irish Language Agency of the North/South Language Implementation Body) is funded jointly by the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure (DCAL) in Northern Ireland and the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs (DCGRA) in the Republic of Ireland. DCAL contributes 25 per cent. and DCGRA contributes 75 per cent. of the funding.