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Leaders ask for views on how to spend £80m

Stormont leaders have asked for comments on how to invest a special £80m fund to help hard-pressed communities.

First Minister Peter Robinson and acting Deputy First Minister John O'Dowd announced the beginning of a 12-week consultation on the Social Investment Fund.

The support package has been billed as a war chest to tackle poverty, improve run-down areas and build job opportunities by working in partnership with local communities.

Critics have demanded greater clarity over how the First Minister and Deputy First Minister plan to distribute the fund. Now both leaders have asked the public to give their views.

Mr Robinson said: “The aim of the consultation is to seek the views of the public on the proposed operation of the Social Investment Fund, including options for applying to the fund, how the fund should be managed and the structures to support its delivery.”

The consultation document can be accessed at the website for the Office of First Minister and Deputy First Minister.

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