Communities MinistPress Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 15th May 2016 -er, Paul Givan, MLA has announced funding of £270,000 for a small grants pilot programme to provide assistance to voluntary and community organisations to purchase equipment.

The Programme will be run across Northern Ireland and will be aimed at small organisations who may have difficulty accessing more mainstream funding programmes. It is expected that applications will be received from a range of organisations across the youth, sporting, charitable and religious sectors.

Minister Givan said: “This pilot programme aims to assist those community organisations who are in need of small items of equipment to enable them to deliver much needed services across the community.”

The Department for Communities is providing £270,000 to establish a Small Capital Grants pilot programme. The Programme is intended to reach small organisations to enable them to purchase items of equipment to sustain and enhance their activities and services to the community.

The Minister continued : “I welcome this opportunity to be able to announce this funding and I would encourage small community organisations who fit the criteria to apply for funding. It is intended that this fund will help small organisations increase their levels of participation, enhance their activities and encourage new levels of volunteering in this important sector.”

Individual awards of between £1,500 and £5,000 will be made to community organisations. Funding may be used to purchase a range of equipment to enhance activities, increase participation, increase numbers of volunteers and increase the numbers and diversity of participants.

First Minister Arlene Foster said, “This announcement has highlighted the Government’s commitment to support and grow the community and voluntary sectors. I have no doubt that groups right across the Province will take advantage of this funding and I look forward to seeing the real impact it has. For Fermanagh-based groups, please contact my constituency office in Enniskillen on 028 6632 0722 for advice and an application form.”