29/10/2008

£15m Community Modernisation Programme Kicks-Off

The first grants from an new government-led £15m 'modernisation' fund have been allocated by Communities Minister Margaret Ritchie.

The spending programme is aimed at helping the voluntary and community sector modernise their services.

Thirty-seven projects will receive approximately £3m in assistance from the fund.

Cash will go towards modernising community buildings; buying new equipment and technology; and improving services and training.
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Speaking on a visit to Dunsford National School in Chapeltown outside Ardglass, one of the first projects to be supported, the Minister said: "What I want to see is the most modern buildings, the most modern equipment and technology and the latest ideas to make community based initiatives more effective.

"This is about providing support to community groups, enabling them to deliver better services to people all over Northern Ireland.

"Here at Dunsford people are coming together and showing, that with a little bit of support they can breathe new life into an old derelict building. Turning an old abandoned facility into a new hub of activity for the community," added Ms Ritchie.

Over the next few months it is expected that over 70 projects will receive grant assistance totalling £15m.

(PR/JM)

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