The Executive has today agreed COVID-19 funding allocations of £165 million which will see a funding injection for business, infrastructure, culture, schools and local councils.
Making the announcement, Conor Murphy said: “As an Executive we have been considering our approach to economic recovery to ensure that the funding we have available makes the greatest possible impact.
“I am pleased to announce £29m for cultural recovery. This on top of the £4m previously allocated means that a total of £33m is going to this important sector.
“Over £29m is being provided for a range of business interventions including support for the tourism industry and a Holiday at Home voucher scheme as well as investment in skills and youth training and further business support.
“£40m is being allocated to ensure local councils can continue to provide essential services and support those in need.
“Recognising the importance of capital projects to stimulating our economic recovery, £14.8m is being allocated for the A6 Flagship with £15m being provided to NI Water to accelerate a number of projects.”
Other allocations include:
· £11.4m Waste Management
· £9.2m for schools (schools reopening (£8m), Pre-School Settings (£1m) and (£200,000 for Special Educational Need support).
· £5.8m University Research & Development
· £3.5m for Higher and Further Education PPE
· £5m to support Roads Winter Service
· £1.6m for the COVID Track, Trace and Protect App
Minister Murphy continued: “The allocations made today will provide vital help to businesses as well as continuing to protect the vulnerable.”
The Executive recognises the health service will require additional funding to continue the fight against COVID-19and is holding £600m centrally pending an assessment of costs. £55m is also being held centrally for further sectoral interventions including support for the bus, coach and taxi industry and to cover any future PPE requirements.