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County Fermanagh received some positive news when The First Minister Peter Robinson and deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness announced the first projects to be funded through the Social Investment Fund programme.
The announcement included the news that £0.9 million has been awarded towards an extension for Fermanagh House, the social enterprise owned by the Fermanagh Trust. The funding is aimed at tackling poverty and deprivation through improved community based services and facilities.
Lauri McCusker, Director of the Fermanagh Trust said “We are delighted with this announcement. A special thank you to the members of the steering group, to OFMdFM and to Fermanagh District Council for their support. We also want to thank all the people who have made Fermanagh House such a success, this has lead us to running out of space and hence the need for this project.’’
‘‘Currently Fermanagh House is over capacity and we have over 1000 users each week. This much needed funding will go towards a much needed extension, ensuring we can continue to develop the space, facilities and services. Fermanagh House has proved to an effective a one stop shop for the community and voluntary sector making services more accessible for local people. We now need to grow and develop the facility and this funding has made this possible. It is great news”, emphasised Lauri
The new space once built will also enable the Fermanagh Trust to continue to focus on creating linkages between locally based groups and voluntary/statutory service providers. The proposed project will have two key functions it will provide a Centre which has at its core the linking of people and communities across Fermanagh with regional and voluntary sector service providers. The Centre will provide 800 square metres of space which will provide a satellite base for regional charities and voluntary sector service providers in Fermanagh. This will allow them to provide services on an outreach basis across Fermanagh and indeed the broader region.
The proposed project will also provide a strategic focal point for the Fermanagh Trust other areas of work including; foundation building; grant making; community and voluntary sector development work; shared education and; community energy. A range of new services and facilities will be included in the new space including a dedicated community education resource and hot desks for new and fledgling community initiatives and enterprises.