Ferguson welcomes Communities Fund boost for Derry

Ferguson welcomes Communities Fund boost for Derry

Sinn Féin MLA for Foyle, Ciara Ferguson, said: "I have seen first-hand the powerful community response made possible by people and local groups working together"

Foyle MLA Ciara Ferguson has welcomed news that an extra £3 million will be made available to support local communities by Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey.

The funding will support council-managed community development and advice services in Derry and the rest of the north.

The Community Support Programme currently supports the provision of community centres, local advice services, resource centres, grants to community groups and the employment of community support staff in councils.

The funding is part of the £50.3m agreed by The Executive on May 24, 2021. Ferguson of Sinn Féin said: “I welcome £3 million of additional funding for the Community Support Programme announced today by Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey.

“This scheme, rolled by local councils and community and advice organisations, has been a lifeline for so many families in our community during the pandemic.

“Having worked to deliver this scheme in Derry, I have seen first-hand the powerful community response made possible by people and local groups working together with the support of the Communities Minister.

“This boost is particularly welcome at a time when the Tories have slashed the £20 Universal Credit uplift and ended the furlough scheme – this funding will allow local community organisations to continue providing a first-class service.”

Minister Hargey added: “During 2020/21, my Department distributed almost £12m to councils through the Community Support Programme.

“These programmes included interventions relating to keeping people connected including digitally, wellbeing support such as befriending, providing access to food and support for families in financial hardship.

“I also want to thank the councils for maintaining this frontline support to communities, which for many people is a lifeline.

“The additional £3m support will ensure the increased delivery of independent, community based services to meet demand.”

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