Community organisations across the Causeway Coast and Glens area have been awarded funding from the Dormant Accounts Fund NI to help build long-term sustainability. This is part of an announcement of over £2.7 milllion to 32 groups from across Northern Ireland.
The Dormant Accounts Fund NI, which is delivered by The National Lottery Community Fund in conjunction with the Department of Finance, is supporting the Voluntary Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) sector to be more resilient and prepared for the future.
One of the groups receiving funding is Focus on Family Nurturing and Development Centre which is working in partnership with Millburn Community Association. They are using a £99,519 grant to support their existing social enterprises to reach their full potential and take forward new social enterprise opportunities.
Over three years the project will review current delivery of each social enterprise and progress ideas for income generation. This includes reviewing existing practices, expanding to maximise profitability and working with contacts to develop new services, resulting in long-term sustainability.
Dalriada Training Services has also been awarded a £99,894 grant to digitize and develop services so they can meet the needs of the communities they serve, making them more adaptable to future challenges and financially sustainable. Over two years the project will develop their portfolio of training and market the organisation to retain and secure new contracts, supporting income generation and long-term resilience.
Big Telly Theatre Company also received a £100,000 grant to redevelop their Brick Moon space, which is a virtual venue for artists, volunteers, and community groups from across Northern Ireland to connect with each other and share skills. Over two-years the group will evaluate how Brick Moon is currently working and will try new ways to run the virtual space to make it more effective at generating income and a useful tool for the community and arts sectors. The work will allow them to reach new audiences and work with new global partnerships.
Paul Sweeney, The National Lottery Community Fund’s NI Chair, said: “I’m delighted to be able to announce these grants today. We know many organisations are trying to plan for the long-term and thinking about the changes they need to make to become more resilient and sustainable. Those changes require leadership, strategic planning, new skills and strong governance. Those are things for which funding often isn’t available. The Dormant Accounts Fund is providing flexible, multi-year funding to allow a diverse range of organisations to plan for a more secure future.
Finance Minister, Conor Murphy added: “These projects show the value of the Dormant Accounts Fund NI. The ability to provide multi-year funding is critical to helping community groups like this to become more sustainable. I would encourage other organisations that have plans to build their long-term resilience to consider applying to the programme.”
Dormant accounts are UK bank and building society accounts that have been untouched for 15 or more years, where customers who own the accounts cannot be traced. As part of this first phase of Dormant Accounts Fund NI support, organisations can apply for up to £100,000 as part of a flexible and responsive grant programme.
There is no closing date for Dormant Accounts Fund NI. For more information