The Social Investment Fund
The Social Investment Fund (SIF) has been set up to deliver social change. It aims to make life better for people living in targeted areas by reducing poverty, unemployment and physical deterioration. The fund will run until March 2016 and has been allocated £80 million by the Northern Ireland Executive.
Social Investment Fund (SIF)
The Social Investment Fund is focused on supporting communities to:
- increase employment opportunities by addressing things such as educational underachievement, lack of skills, access to jobs and making it appealing for businesses to start up in areas which have suffered deprivation
- tackle issues such as mental and physical health, use of drugs and alcohol, becoming a young mother, young people’s involvement in anti-social behaviour and the ability of communities to work together which can all be associated with deprivation
- increase services in the community by improving existing facilities, making the environment better and providing additional facilities where needed and possible
- address dereliction in order to make areas more appealing for investment and for those living there
How will it work with communities?
The fund is being delivered in partnership with communities across nine social investment zones. Each zone has a steering group with up to 14 members from the business, political, statutory and voluntary and community sectors. They will develop and manage plans for each of the social investment zones.
Click the link below to view a map of the zones:
Initial Steering Groups were established for the nine Social Investment Zones.
You can find full details of the initial membership of each steering group at the page below:
Since they were set up on 17 October 2012, the Steering Groups have been working with their communities in each of the zones, with the support of consultants, to develop strategic area plans–. This work has included identifying needs within communities and developing project proposals and economic appraisals to address those needs. The Steering Groups have now completed the area planning process and have submitted their final strategic area plans.
The plans, which were received on 28 February 2013, contain a broad range of projects to improve services and meet community needs such as education underachievement, unemployment, health issues and physical regeneration.
The projects are now going through a quality assurance review. This means that they are being checked to ensure that only the most robust projects and those that will have the most positive impact within their communities are recommended to go through to the next stage..
Following this, decisions will then be made on the final projects and how they will be funded and delivered., The projects will then start in communities soon afterwards.
Eligibility for funding
The steering groups for each zone were asked to identify areas eligible to seek funding to take forward projects related to poverty, unemployment, increasing services and dereliction. It was agreed that the following measures would be used to decide which areas were eligible:
- areas within the top 10 per cent of most deprived Super Output Areas on the Multiple Deprivation Measure 2010
- areas within the top 20 per cent of most deprived Super Output Areas on the key indicators of income, employment, education and health
- areas which could provide independently verified and robust evidence of objective need linked to the four strategic objectives of the Social Investment Fund (as detailed above)
How the investment zones were decided
Four of the zones identified are broadly the same as the areas in which the Health and Social Care Trusts operate outside of Belfast. These are also the same areas that the Children and Young People’s Strategic Partnership (CYPSP) cover, CYPSP is a group that looks at the needs of children and young people in different areas and plans and commissions services to meet those needs. Another four are in the Greater Belfast area and are based on Northern Ireland Assembly constituencies and one zone is in North West aligned with the Derry City Council boundary.
Contact Social Investment Project Team
If you would like more information about the Social Investment Project you can contact the project team:
- email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- telephone 028 9052 8300
or write to:SIF Project Team
Room E4.15, Block E,