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Eighty million has been set aside by the NI Executive towards the Social Investment Fund (SIF) which is being delivered in partnership with communities across nine zones throughout Northern Ireland.  This fund aims to make life better for people living in deprived areas by reducing poverty, unemployment and physical deterioration.  

The Southern Zone covers the three new council areas of Newry, Mourne and Down District Council; Armagh City, Banbridge & Craigavon Borough Council; and Mid Ulster District Council.

Pictured at the launch are from left: Sonya Burns (Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Programmes Manager); Carla Campbell (Network Personnel); Alastair Walker (Social Investment Fund); Cllr Naomi Bailie (Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Chairperson) and Hilary Singleton (Southern Zone Steering Group Chairperson); and Liam Hannaway - Newry, Mourne and Down District Council, Chief Executive).
Pictured at the launch are from left: Sonya Burns (Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Programmes Manager); Carla Campbell (Network Personnel); Alastair Walker (Social Investment Fund); Cllr Naomi Bailie (Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Chairperson) and Hilary Singleton (Southern Zone Steering Group Chairperson); and Liam Hannaway - Newry, Mourne and Down District Council, Chief Executive).

Speaking about the programme, Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Chairperson, Cllr Naomi Bailie said,  “The aim of the Southern Zone ‘Work It’ programme is to give those who are most removed from the labour market a bridge to the world of work by providing 48 weeks training and employment for 160 participants.  The programme aims to build confidence, increase self esteem and provide accredited training opportunities for participants of the programme while also adopting a partnership approach to delivering community regeneration projects.  

The SIF will be targeted at those areas that are within the top 20% most deprived areas and the Work It programme will specifically target areas within Lurgan, Newry City, Coalisland and Portadown.” 

Cllr Bailie concluded by saying, “On behalf of Newry, Mourne and Down District Council I would like to thank the Office of the First and Deputy First Minister for providing us with the opportunity to lead on this fantastic programme and we look forward to seeing the results of such an innovative and much needed programme to the Southern Investment Zone.” 

Sinn Fein MLA Conor Murphy has welcomed the £2.7 million investment saying “The Social Investment Fund (SIF) was set up to tackle poverty, deprivation and unemployment within the local community. The ‘Work It’ Project launched today in Newry will do just that. It offers people who are not currently working the opportunity of getting back into work by improving their skills and overall employability. This will have a positive impact not just on the individual but also on their family and local community.

“This project has been designed and developed by local people and will deliver for local people. I encourage people to get involved and for our part we will continue to work with local communities to support them in their efforts to transform the local community and make it a better place for everyone to live.”

If you would like any further information either as a participant, employer or community group, on the Social Investment Fund ‘Work It’ Programme please contact:

Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Programmes Unit on 028 3031 3024 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

Alternaively contact Network Personnel on 028 3839 2777 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

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