£2.7m from Dormant Accounts Fund NI supports VCSE sector in Northern Ireland

7 Jul 2021 10:15 AM

An organisation supporting people leaving prison to turn their lives around and a group promoting rural communities are among 32 receiving grants today to secure their long-term future. A full list of grants awarded can be downloaded below.

The Dormant Accounts Fund NI, delivered by The National Lottery Community Fund in conjunction with the Department of Finance, is supporting the Voluntary Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) sector to be more resilient and prepared for the future.

Grants totalling £2,755,075 have been awarded to a range of organisations including those in the arts, major charities, groups helping families and people with health conditions, with the money being used to help build long-term sustainability.

The Turnaround Project which supports people with experience of the justice system, is receiving £99,953 to implement their business plan and become more sustainable.

Richard Good, Director of The Turnaround Project, said: “For some time we’ve been considering our long-term future and this grant will let us make the changes that need to be made. It will help us develop our social enterprises which provide training and employment opportunities for people serving sentences, helping them generate more income and supporting us to be become more financially resilient.

“This grant lets us succession plan and train our staff, as well as set up new systems and processes including selling online, putting us in a much stronger position in two years’ time, ensuring we can continue to provide our life changing services.”

Rural Area Partnership in Derry (RAPID) has also been awarded a £99,917 grant, to explore new avenues of income and improve long-term partnerships to support sustainability.

Caroline Devlin, RAPID Manager, said: “We made a strategic plan a number of years ago, but because of reacting day to day and not having the resources, we could never implement it, until now.

“This grant will help us, and the organisations we support become more sustainable, by increasing sources of income such as social enterprises and tendering. It will also let us build relationships across statutory and community organisations, so we can navigate through the major issues that are affecting rural communities such as changes to funding structures and Brexit, ensuring opportunities are identified and long-term resilience.

Paul Sweeney, The National Lottery Community Fund’s NI Chair, said: “I’m delighted to be able to announce these grants today. We know many organisations are trying to plan for the long-term and thinking about the changes they need to make to become more resilient and sustainable. Those changes require leadership, strategic planning, new skills and strong governance. Those are things for which funding often isn’t available. The Dormant Accounts Fund is providing flexible, multi-year funding to allow a diverse range of organisations to plan for a more secure future.

Finance Minister, Conor Murphy added: “These projects show the value of the Dormant Accounts Fund NI. The ability to provide multi-year funding is critical to helping community groups like this to become more sustainable. I would encourage other organisations that have plans to build their long-term resilience to consider applying to the programme.”

Dormant accounts are UK bank and building society accounts that have been untouched for 15 or more years, where customers who own the accounts cannot be traced. As part of this first phase of Dormant Accounts Fund NI support, organisations can apply for up to £100,000 as part of a flexible and responsive grant programme.

There is no closing date for Dormant Accounts Fund NI. For more information visit: www.tnlcommunityfund.org.uk/funding/programmes/dormant-accounts-ni.

Click here to download a full list of grants awarded.

Notes to Editors

Dormant accounts are defined in the Dormant Bank and Building Society Accounts Act 2008 as those which have seen no customer-initiated activity for at least 15 years.

Under the Dormant Bank and Building Society Accounts Act 2008, the Reclaim Fund releases funds from dormant bank accounts to the National Lottery Community Fund for distribution to good causes across the UK.

The Reclaim Fund Ltd. (RFL), which was established in March 2011 to receive and invest dormant account balances across the UK, transferred the first tranche of monies from dormant bank and building society accounts to the National Lottery Community Fund on 2 August 2011.

The National Lottery Community Fund received policy directions regarding the Dormant Accounts Fund NI from the Department of Finance in September 2019.

The National Lottery Community Fund are the largest community funder in the UK awarding money, raised by National Lottery players, to local communities. Since June 2004, we have made over 200,000 grants and awarded over £9 billion to projects that have benefited millions of people.

We are passionate about funding great ideas that matter to communities and make a difference to people’s lives. At the heart of everything we do is the belief that when people are in the lead, communities thrive.

Dormant Accounts NI

Dormant Accounts Fund NI will support the voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) sector in Northern Ireland to be more resilient and prepared for the future by funding activity that increases capacity and sustainability.

Read more about this programme