Sinn Féin MLA Oliver McMullan has called on Health Minister Simon Hamilton to clarify the position on the New Innovative Fund, which was supposed to have opened in January to assist charities.
Mr McMullan said,
“The New Innovative Fund was supposed to open in January to assist charities through funding over a three or five year period.
“Charities are confused as what the fund will cover, who will administer it and how long will the scheme last for.
Some charities are seeing a reduction in funding of 25% per year leaving them unable to provide the services they are designed to do.
“There is a worry that only innovative projects will be funded and that these will not be renewed after the initial period.
“I have been lobbied by charities such as the Downs Syndrome Trust who are afraid that their long term strategies will not be covered by this fund.
“The Minister needs to remove all of this uncertainty immediately and clarify when this fund will be accessible to charities.
“I have now table questions to the Minister in order to ascertain the facts around the New Innovative Fund.”