Around £300 million of funding will be committed to projects to support peace in Northern Ireland, the UK Government announced today (Friday).
The UK Government has committed to contributing millions of pounds to PEACE Plus until 2027, as part of its unwavering commitment to uphold the hard-won peace in Northern Ireland after Brexit.
PEACE Plus will succeed the current PEACE scheme which has helped promote economic and social progress in Northern Ireland and the border region of Ireland since 1995. The current programme – run with funding from the UK, Ireland and EU – will end in 2020.
The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, the Rt Hon Karen Bradley MP, said:
This funding will help deliver vital projects on both sides of the Irish border, supporting cooperation and reconciliation and ensuring that generations to come grown up in a more peaceful and stable society.
Following today’s announcement, the UK Government will work with the EU Commission and Irish Government to shape PEACE Plus over the next round of the EU’s Multi-Annual Financial Framework.
The EU has already set out its plan for £109 million (€120 million) of funding during 2021-27 if its financial framework is approved. Maintaining the existing funding proportions, the UK Government will also continue its support with approximately £300m. This flows from our joint commitment with the EU in the Withdrawal Agreement to maintain funding for vital work on reconciliation and a shared future for Northern Ireland until at least 2027.
This funding enables work to continue to build on the almost £1.8 billion (€2 billion) of investment in projects in both Northern Ireland and Ireland, including landmark projects such as the £14.5m PEACE bridge in Derry-Londonderry, which has linked communities across the River Foyle.
One organisation that has shown the benefit is Youth Action NI in Belfast, an organisation that used PEACE funding to help bring together young people from different communities in Northern Ireland. It established the ‘Youth Network for Peace’ – a regional project involving 10,000 young people in a range of participative social action projects on a cross-community and cross-border basis.