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More Capital money available for Youth Clubs - Ruane

22 April, 2008

Sinn Fein Education Minister Caitríona Ruane MLA today announced an increase in the grant paid by the Department of Education for the provision of facilities for the voluntary youth service.

The Minister confirmed that grants for capital works to bring youth clubs up to an acceptable standard will increase from 85% up to 100%.

She said:

"I have visited many youth clubs since becoming Minister for Education and have seen the great work that is done, sometimes in less than perfect conditions.

"During my visits it became clear that in some cases it was impossible for the club to obtain capital funding from the Department of Education as they were unable to raise the 15% required. This has meant that some youth clubs have fallen into a very poor state of repair and although providing high quality programmes they were unable to provide a safe and accessible environment. Capital funding can be used to upgrade facilities, improve access for people with a disability and also improve Health & Safety and child protection measures.

"The changes I am introducing will allow the voluntary youth sector to apply for up to 100% of funding required and apply for a level of capital grant up to £150k. This represents an increase of £50k from the current level available. Equality considerations will be at the core of the money allocated.

"I trust these changes will be welcomed by the sector. Many youth clubs are fortunate to have full-time paid staff who are ably supported by a team of volunteers. These proposals will help them provide their valuable services in better surroundings. The Department will close the existing scheme and launch the new scheme in due course." ENDS

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