Finance Minister launches £20.5 million Dormant Accounts Fund
The Dormant Accounts Fund will be delivered by The National Lottery Community Fund. Multi-year grants of up to £100,000 will be available to build organisations’ resilience and sustainability.
Visiting Footprints social enterprise in West Belfast this morning, Minister Murphy said: “The establishment of the Dormant Accounts Fund is great news for the community, voluntary and social enterprise sectors. While the Fund currently is £20.5 million it will increase as further Dormant Funds are made available each year.
“Third sector groups are often limited to annual funding, causing constant uncertainty and hindering long-term planning. By offering multi-year funding, this Fund will give groups a bridge to become more financially sustainable. Ultimately this allows them to have an even greater impact on people’s lives.”
Alongside the grant fund, the Dormant Accounts Fund will also support larger, strategic projects that will enable collaboration right across the sector and develop new and creative approaches to sustainability. These could be NI-wide or sector specific proposals which might focus on a particular issue such as diversity and inclusion, social finance or volunteering.
Highlighting what the Dormant Account Fund will support, Kate Beggs, The National Lottery Community Fund’s NI Director, added: “The launch of this fund is a milestone for the community and voluntary sector in Northern Ireland. While 2020 has been a year of emergency funding, we know many organisations are trying to plan for the long term and thinking about the changes they need to make to become more sustainable. Those changes require leadership, strategic planning, new skills and strong governance – and also time to stop and think. Those are things for which funding often isn’t available and that’s where the Dormant Accounts Fund comes in. It will provide flexible, multi-year funding and allow a diverse range of organisations to plan for a more secure future.”
Responding to the launch of the Fund, Chief Executive of NICVA Seamus McAleavey said: "NICVA really welcomes Conor Murphy’s announcement today. Action on Dormant Accounts has been a long time coming, so today’s launch is great news. The focus of the fund on resilience and sustainability is all the more important given the turbulence of 2020. Organisations in the VCSE sector have been responding to the crisis and everything has been in emergency mode. This fund is about building organisations’ futures. Helping us adapt in a changed world and thrive in the years to come. It is far sighted and its multi annual nature is very welcome as driving change, building resilience and sustainability take time to do well. Ironically, given our current circumstances this fund could not come at a better time and I thank the Minister and all who have worked on its delivery."
The Dormant Accounts Fund will open for applications at noon on Tuesday 12 January. Further information is available on The National Lottery Community Fund NI website here.
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