European Union cash to be dished out in NI soon

The Union flag and the EU flag
The Union flag and the EU flag

Two major European funds look set to start dishing out cash in Northern Ireland soon, despite Brexit.

In a statement issued on Thursday night, Stormont’s finance minister and his Irish counterpart confirmed that the “letters of offer” for the PEACE IV and INTERREG VA programmes will begin being issued from next week,

This essentially means that the two enormous EU funds will start parcelling out their latest round of money.

Up until now, there was a question over whether the funds would definitely be able to hand out money due to Brexit.

PEACE IV gives money to projects aimed at cross-community issues and reconciliation, and all 11 councils in Northern Ireland were due to receive money, as well as six in the Republic of Ireland.

INTERREG VA meanwhile deals with things like infrastructure.

As well as operating in Northern Ireland, this fund also covered Scotland and the Republic of Ireland.

Most of the money in both funds – totalling hundreds of millions in Euro – comes from the EU, but the Irish and UK governments also contribute.

Although the Republic is set to remain in the EU, it had looked as if it could lose out on all the PEACE and INTERREG money to which it was entitled due to Brexit, because the funds were designed to operate on a cross-border basis.

In the statement on Thursday night finance minister Mairtin O Muilleoir said from next week money will be offered under INTERREG VA, with PEACE IV offers made in “the coming weeks”.

Irish public spending minister Paschal Donohoe saidhe was “delighted that funding for projects has started to flow”.