Finance Minister Mervyn Storey says the £400million European Union funding programme will leave a lasting legacy in Northern Ireland.
The Finance Minister was joined by the Republic of Ireland’s Finance Minister Brendan Howlin, TD; Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure and Investment Keith Brown and Deša Srsen Head of Unit, European Commission, Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy at the Special EU Programmes Body launch of the PEACE IV and INTERREG VA Programmes, at the Skainos Centre in East Belfast today. Both programmes are financed by the European Regional Development Fund.
Speaking at the launch the Minister said: “PEACE IV and INTERREG VA will build on the achievements of the previous special EU programme by contributing further to the positive changes and improvement to the lives of local people.
“The £199million PEACE IV Programme, which has a strong emphasis on children and young people, will promote community cohesion while the £209million INTERREG VA Programme will offer even greater cross-jurisdictional benefits for Northern Ireland, Scotland and the Republic of Ireland.
“The new streamlined application process is a welcome development that will reduce the administrative burden when applying for funding and in the delivery of the Programmes.
“I am confident that in PEACE IV and INTERREG VA we have two excellent Programmes that will complement each other and leave a lasting legacy with a strong focus on our young people.”
The PEACE IV Programme activity will take place in thematic areas of Shared Education, Children and Young People, Shared Spaces and Services and Building Positive Relations. The Shared Spaces and Services theme will include activity to enhance regional services for victims and survivors.
INTERREG VA will focus on areas around research and innovation, environmental protection, sustainable transport and health.
The Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB) is responsible for managing both programmes, which are designed to enhance cross border cooperation, promote reconciliation and create a more peaceful and prosperous society.
The first calls for applications under the INTERREG VA Programme have already opened. The PEACE IV Programme will open to applications in the coming weeks.