Chancellor’s announcement of £750m to support Charities: What’s happening in Northern Ireland?

21 Apr 2020 Seamus McAleavey    Last updated: 21 Apr 2020

Northern Ireland is to receive £22 million from the Chancellor's £750 million Covid-19 charity crisis package. Urgent talks are in progress.

It is two weeks now since the Chancellor made his very welcome announcement of financial support to aid Charities struggling as they hemorrhaged fundraised income as the lockdown was announced.

As part of that announcement, we now know that Northern Ireland will receive £22 million under what is known as the ‘Barnett Formula’. This is the government process for allocating UK expenditure to Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

It is NICVA’s understanding that officials in the Department for Communities are in discussions with the Department of Finance to create a scheme to allocate the resources.

There is no doubt that the DfC Minister is committed to getting support out as quickly as possible, but that has to be balanced with making sure the absolute best is made of the resource.

While £22 million is a large amount of money, it will not meet all the losses being suffered currently by many charities across Northern Ireland.

The funds will be targeted on those whose critical services are funded by donations, fundraising events and also earned income.  In many cases, the services are still needed but the money to pay for them has evaporated almost overnight.

It is hoped that the scheme, application process and award criteria will be announced shortly as it is getting urgent attention from the Minister and her officials.

NICVA will provide further information as soon as it becomes available.

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