Home NORTHERN IRELAND NEWS Ministers provide additional funding for town centre Covid recovery

Ministers provide additional funding for town centre Covid recovery


Communities Minister Caral Ní Chuilín and Rural Affairs Minister Edwin Poots have announced a further allocation of £1.7million to councils as part of the Department for Communities’ Covid-19 Recovery Revitalisation Programme.

Announcing the additional funding, Minister Ní Chuilín said: “This is undoubtedly a difficult time for our high streets.  I introduced this programme as a way to deliver tangible support to businesses and councils and I am pleased to be able to announce this further funding today which brings the total investment in this programme to £19.3m.

“I have worked closely with Executive colleagues and councils to ensure that this collaborative Programme addresses the needs of citizens and businesses to create a safer environment for all.  The grant schemes offered by councils through this Programme have proved very popular with businesses.  This new funding will allow additional businesses to create a more Covid-secure experience for shoppers and workers alike.” 

The Programme, has now allocated a total of £19.3m to help every council to make their town and city centres a safer environment for everyone. This includes £12m from the Department for Communities, £5m from the Department for Infrastructure and £2.3m from the Department for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs.

Minister Poots added: “I am pleased to provide this additional £300,000 from my Department’s Tackling Rural Poverty and Social Isolation budget to the Covid-19 Recovery Revitalisation Programme. There is high level of demand for this grant aid support and I hope that it will assist rural businesses invest in equipment and facilities that will provide a safe environment for customers and staff in our villages and rural towns.  

“Rural businesses are key to ensuring the sustainability of our rural communities and I want to encourage people to shop local when they can. I know that our businesses are doing all they can to make this as safe and convenient as possible.”

To date, councils have used around £7m of Programme funding to establish a number of grant schemes for businesses. The additional funding announced today will be used to provide further support for these schemes, with £1.4m from DfC going towards grants in the larger urban towns and £300,000 from DAERA providing similar business support in smaller rural settlements.