EU exit and loss of funding is ‘devastating’: SF MLA

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Sinn Féin MLA and Economy Committee member, Caoimhe Archibald, has expressed concern at the devastating impact the loss of funding as a result of an exit from the EU will have on the community and voluntary sector.

The East Derry MLA said: “Today the Economy Committee heard from the Clanrye Group which is primarily a training organisation for people with disabilities and other ‘hard to reach’ groups.

“They presented to the committee on the range of projects they are involved in, and the important outcomes these projects have for those with disabilities and their families.

“They outlined how their projects are primarily funded by the European Social Fund and expressed deep concern at the future prospects for funding and how the current uncertainty is affecting the sector.

“The Clanrye Group and organisations like them right across the community and voluntary sector, provide an invaluable service to our society which is hard to quantify financially.

“The current inability to plan for future projects is having a very negative impact on these organisations and the loss of funding if an exit from the EU materialises will be devastating.

“These concerns need to be heard by everyone across the political spectrum, and some clarity provided around the future of all funding streams.

“The vote of the majority who opted to remain in the EU needs to be respected in order to protect these vital funding streams.”