‘We help our members grow through a variety of networking opportunities.’

Multi-million Investment

An investment of £2.7m in a Newry employment project has been widely welcomed. The money is being allocated by the Social Investment Fund (SIF) which is administered by the Office of the First and Deputy First Minister. A total of £80m has been allocated towards the fund which has been set up to make life better for people living in deprived areas by reducing poverty, unemployment and physical deterioration and is being delivered in partnership with communities across nine social investment zones throughout Northern Ireland. Newry is within the Southern zone and is also one of the areas within the top 20 per cent most deprived Super Output Areas in the province. Speaking after the announcement was made the Chair of Newry Mourne and Down District Council, Councillor Naomi Bailie said: “On behalf of Newry, Mourne and Down District Council I would like to thank the Office of the First and Deputy First Minister for providing us with the opportunity to lead on this fantastic programme and we look forward to seeing the results of such an innovation and much needed programme to the Southern Investment Zone.” The aim of the Southern Zone Work It programme is to give those who are most removed from the labour market a bridge to the world of work by improving participants skills and general employability by providing 48 weeks training and employment for 160 participants. The programme also aims to build confidence, increase self esteem and provide accredited training opportunities for participants while also adopting a partnership approach to delivering community regeneration projects. Sinn Fein MLA Conor Murphy has also welcomed the news and has encouraged local people to get involved in the programme. “The Social Investment Fund was set up to tackle poverty, deprivation and unemployment with the local community. The Work It Project launched in Newry will do just that,” said Mr Murphy. “It offers people who are not currently working the opportunity of getting back into work by improving their skills and overall employability. This will have a positive impact not just on the individual but also on their family and local community. This project has been designed and developed by local people and will deliver for local people. I encourage local people to get it involved and for our part we will continue to work with local communities top support them in their efforts to transform the local community and make it a better place for everyone to live.”


Newry Democrat

6th October  2015