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NI capital funding programme delayed

A widely anticipated Big Lottery funding programme for capital projects in Northern Ireland will now not be available until at least 2013, according to the Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action.
The Space and Place programme was established following consultation in 2009/2010 which highlighted demand for the Big Lottery Fund to support the integration of communities, across both political and social class divides, in Northern Ireland.
There was demand for providing new spaces and places and using existing ones better, particularly those that are currently underused or difficult for a variety of reasons. The consultation supported the idea of providing spaces to play, to meet others, build relationships and enhance participation.
The programme is viewed as one of the few community capital funding programmes available.
The delay in accepting applications seems to be down to the process of selecting an Award Partner to help administer the programme.
Big Lottery Fund first called for applications for the £15 million Award Partner early in 2011 to be submitted by a deadline in July 2011. The programmes guidelines set a target of December 2011 for informing the successful award partner but no partner has been announced.
BIG now hopes to announce the chosen Award Partner “late in 2012”. The timetable will then depend on the Award Partners programme for how and when funding will be delivered. Grants will be between £50,000 to £1 million.