Newry.ie

MLA Liz Kimmins has welcomed the announcement of a £7m funding package from Finance Minister Conor Murphy to support social enterprises.

Announcing a total of £123M of allocated spending yesterday, Finance Minister Conor Murphy said: “The Executive is providing over £47 million to enable schools and further education facilities to safely reopen. This will allow children and young people to return to education in a safe environment while at the same time enabling parents to return to work.

“Recognising the need to ensure young people are provided with the opportunity to gain skills and employment, the Executive is providing over £17 million for apprenticeships. 

Pictured at a recent 'pitching' event for local social enterprises at Newry and Mourne Enterprise Agency. Photograph: Columba O'Hare/ Newry.ie
Pictured at a recent 'pitching' event for local social enterprises at Newry and Mourne Enterprise Agency. Photograph: Columba O'Hare/ Newry.ie

“£7 million is being provided for social enterprises, many of which employ vulnerable people, with a further £2.5 million towards safely reopening the voluntary and social enterprise sectors.

Concluding Mr Murphy said: “These allocations will help to maintain key public services, support economic recovery, and protect the vulnerable.”

Welcoming the funding for social enterprises Ms Kimmins said "Social enterprises do great work in providing both employment and services to local communities and they, like many others, have been hit by the ongoing public health emergency.

"This funding will help them meet the challenges of COVID-19 and ensure they can continue to deliver services and keep both staff and the wider public safe."

Funding Breakdown

  • £35 million – schools reopening
  • £27 million – NI Water to offset loss of income from commercial users
  • £20 million – Translink
  • £17.2 million – Apprenticeships
  • £7 million – Social Enterprises
  • £6.4 million – schools PPE
  • £5.5 million – Further Education to provide safe learning environment
  • £2.5 million – safely reopen the Voluntary & Social Enterprise sectors
  • £1.4 million – cover statutory licence fees for the bus and taxi industry
  • £1 million – free school meals

 At present it is unknown how the social enterprise funding will be distributed but further details are expected later.

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