Holmes welcomes belated progress on dormant account fund

Cllr Richard Holmes has welcomed the news that a Dormant Account Fund has now at last been established in Northern Ireland. The fund of £16m from dormant bank and building society accounts will support projects in the third sector.

The Ulster Unionist Councillor said: “The long awaited release of this money is a key lifeline for organisations who would struggle to find funding otherwise. But it is important that the money is made readily available to the organisations in need without endless rounds of strategy documents and consultations.

“The £16m in the Fund is much greater than the anticipated £7m but it is a decade since the UK’s Dormant Accounts Scheme was first announced. It says so much about the shambolic nature of the Northern Ireland government over the last decade that hundreds of millions of pounds have already been directed to good causes across the rest of the UK.

“Instead of funds being made available in Northern Ireland we had announcements of an intention to develop a fund – on four separate occasions! Four separate Finance Ministers – Sammy Wilson, Simon Hamilton, Mervyn Storey and Mairtin O Muilleoir – rolled out the pop ups, the polystyrene pound signs and smiled for the cameras as they made their announcements. Yet not one single penny of this fund was ever delivered to those who could make best use of it.

“We owe a debt of thanks to the Department for Finance Civil Servants for succeeding where the politicians have failed.”

More information is available at: https://www.tnlcommunityfund.org.uk/funding/programmes/dormant-accounts-fund%C2%A0%C2%A0

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