10/11/2005

Minister announces social economy funding

Social economy businesses are making a valuable contribution to the Northern Ireland economy and the sector must be developed further.

That was the message today from Enterprise Minister, Angela Smith, as she announced a further £600,000 of funding for the Social Economy Network which will run from 2006-2010.

Speaking at the Social Economy Forum at LEDCOM in Larne on Thursday, the Minister said: “The social economy sector in Northern Ireland makes an important contribution to social and economic activity in Northern Ireland ranging from entrepreneurial action and economic development to the delivery of services to local and cross-community development work.

"Developing this sector continues to be priority for the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment.”

Anna McAleavy, Chair of the Social Economy Network, said the funding would give the group "the opportunity to continue to support the development of our sector to deliver both its social and economic aims".

DETI and DSD provided £600,000 from 2002-06 for the first phase of the establishment of the Social Economy Network to act as a representative voice for the social economy sector. This further funding of £600,000 will be for the period April 2006-2010.

(MB/SP)

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