Finance Minister Caoimhe Archibald MLA today visited Enniskillen to see the work being done to tackle regional imbalance and support local communities.

Following a meeting with local representatives of the Mid South West Growth Deal, the Minister met with the Fermanagh Trust and Youthscape Plus. The Minister said: “Tackling regional imbalance is the key to prosperity. Through investment and support we can ensure areas such as Enniskillen enjoy the same economic prosperity and employment opportunities as other towns and cities.

“Recently, I was pleased that following my proposals, the Executive were able to agree additional funding for the A4 Enniskillen Bypass through the Mid South West Growth Deal. This vital investment will be transformational for the region in helping to attract new investment.”

During her visit to Enniskillen, the Minister visited The Youthscape project which received PEACE IV funding, enabling them to work with young people aged 14-24 from disadvantaged, excluded, or marginalised backgrounds in Enniskillen, Dungannon, Strabane, Omagh, Letterkenny and Ballybofey.

The Minister added: “Along with investment in major projects, we must ensure we support projects in local communities that can have a real impact on the ground. It was great to have the opportunity to visit the YouthScape project at the Erne campus of the South West College to see one of the success stories from the PEACE Programme. The work they have undertaken and the range of training and support they provide to young people most in need is integral to providing them with a brighter future.

The Minister also visited the Fermanagh Trust’s social enterprise centre, Fermanagh House, in Enniskillen where she saw how dormant account funding is being used to build the organisation’s digital capabilities, improving their efficiency and harnessing the potential of digital marketing.

The National Lottery Community Fund distributes money via a Reclaim Fund from dormant assets such as bank accounts, in line with directions set by the Department of Finance, to support the voluntary and community sector build capacity, resilience and sustainability in the future.

The Minister said: “Helping organisations to support their local communities and deliver projects also means investing in and developing those organisations too. The Fermanagh Trust carries out vital work across Fermanagh. With support from the Dormant Accounts Fund NI delivered via The National Lottery Community Fund, the Fermanagh Trust has developed their processes to work smarter and build the organisation’s capacity. This will undoubtedly boost the way they can support community development in the future.”

Photograph Caption:

Left to right – Pictured at South West College’s Erne campus are SEUPB’s Managing Authority Director Paul Beattie, Youthscape project leader Ciaran McManus, Finance Minister Caoimhe Archibald MLA and Sharon McGrath Director of Corporate Services and Campus Manager at South West College