Northern Ireland will get almost £1 billion from the UK, Ireland and EU in new PEACEPLUS programme

Funding from the UK government, Irish government and the European Union will total almost £1 billion, as part of the new Peace Plus programme.

Northern Ireland will receive almost £1 billion in funding as part of the new PEACEPLUS programme.

The funding will come from the UK government, the Irish government, and the European Union.

The new programme was announced in Belfast on Monday by Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Chris Heaton-Harris, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, and European Union Vice President, Maros Sefcovic.

In total the funding amounts to around £978 million or 1.14 billion euros.

The UK government will provide almost 75% of the funding, more than £730 million, according to the Northern Ireland secretary.

Chris Heaton-Harris, Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, said:

“We are providing more than £730 million to the programme (almost 75% of the budget), which includes match funding contributions from the Northern Ireland Executive. Together with contributions from the European Commission and Ireland of over £250 million, this brings the total up to almost £1 billion, a huge investment from across the international stage towards peace and prosperity as we mark the anniversary of the Agreement and look forward to the next 25 years.

“Since being appointed as Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, I have had the opportunity to visit many of the brilliant people, businesses, social enterprises and voluntary organisations across Northern Ireland who are determined to improve the lives of their families and communities, and just this morning, I have been speaking to some of you about how you’ve been working towards achieving these objectives.

“I can see the great value and impact that you all have in communities across Northern Ireland and the border region of Ireland, and I am proud that this funding is available to support the vital ongoing work to promote peace and reconciliation and contribute to cross-border economic and territorial development.”

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, said:

“It’s a real pleasure to be here in Belfast to formally launch the Peaceplus programme. With record funding of 1.1 billion euro, Peaceplus is an unprecedented investment by the EU, the UK, Ireland and Northern Ireland in reconciliation and cross-border co-operation, helping to build peace and promote prosperity on the island,” Mr Varadkar said.

“Although we are making this announcement against the stark backdrop of suspended power-sharing Institutions, today is a welcome reminder of just what is possible, and how we can make real progress. When Ireland, Northern Ireland, the UK and the EU work together, it yields a significant dividend for Northern Ireland and the border region.”

EU vice-president, Maros Sefcovic, said:

“I am pleased to be in Northern Ireland to mark the launch of Peaceplus, together with representatives of the governments of the UK and Ireland. The European Union’s support to this programme is part of our strong commitment to peace in Northern Ireland, now and in the future.

“Here in Northern Ireland, we have seen how peace, when it is not a given, becomes an overwhelming desire, a primary necessity. And how much we can achieve when we put our minds and hearts to it. With an overall contribution of 1.1 billion euro, we are – collectively – clearly demonstrating that we are putting our money where our mouth is.

“The Belfast/Good Friday Agreement has provided a sustainable basis for peace in Northern Ireland for the past 25 years. It took great political courage from all sides to make it happen. We all have a duty to protect it, and the gains it has brought about.”

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