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Dickson Welcomes Monitoring Round Economy COVID Allocations

East Antrim Alliance MLA, Stewart Dickson, has welcomed the announcement by the Finance Minister of £94.5m to the Department for the Economy (DfE) to fund a number of measures.

Previously DfE had to surrender £105.4m of Covid funding, due chiefly to the postponement of the High Street Voucher Scheme.

Mr Dickson commented: “It is welcome that DfE has had all its Covid resource bids funded, and therefore regained most of the funding that was previously allocated. In particular, I am glad to see alternative funding being put in place for vital European Social Fund projects, which will end in 2022, as a result of our departure from the EU.

“Additional funding has also been made available for tourism, and expanding the Company Director’s Support Scheme. It is disappointing however that no additional bids were made to cover the gaps that remain in regards to the self-employed, many of whom have been with an income or business support since the very start of restrictions last year.

Mr Dickson concluded: “It really is vital now that the Economy Minister gets these funds out before the end of the financial year, but also ensure that a proper assessment of what gaps remain is carried out.”

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