Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey has launched the 2021/22 Access and Inclusion Programme at the Armagh County Museum.
The programme provides capital grant funding through local councils and the NI Museums Council, aimed at promoting a more inclusive society by enabling disabled people to participate more fully in arts, cultural and active recreation activities.
The Department for Communities is providing £810,000 to the programme with an additional contribution of £300,000 from the Department for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA).
Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey, said: “I am delighted to be launching a further round of the Access and Inclusion Programme which sees my Department working in collaboration with DAERA, the NI Museums Council and local government to deliver a scheme aimed at addressing the physical barriers to engagement in arts, culture and active recreation by people with disabilities.
“One of my Department’s key strategic objectives is the promotion of social inclusion across all Section 75 groups including people with a disability who have limited opportunities to participate in activities that many of us take for granted.”
Minister Hargey was joined at the launch in Armagh County Museum, one of last year’s funding recipients, by DAERA’s Director of Rural Affairs, Paul Donnelly and Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council, Cllr Kevin Savage.
DAERA Minister Edwin Poots said: “I am once again delighted to be able to support this very worthwhile Programme which contributes to improving the quality of life for people with a disability by helping them to enjoy many of the activities that able bodied people take for granted.
“My Department, through the Tackling Rural Poverty and Social Isolation Fund (TRPSI) continues to work closely with other Departments, Agencies and Councils across a number of programmes, to address isolation issues.
“The Access and Inclusion Programme is an excellent example of how this collaborative working is helping to improve the lives of our citizens across Northern Ireland.”
Projects will have a maximum value of £30,000 and are delivered by councils, largely in council-owned facilities, although councils that have the capacity to do so may issue an open call for applications.
Grants of up to 90% of project costs are available towards both physical improvements at facilities and works that will enhance the experience on offer for disabled people.