First Minister Arlene Foster and Communities Minister Paul Givan have announced funding of £500,000 to support improvement works for community halls across Northern Ireland.
The funding will enable community organisations in urban and rural areas to undertake minor works and improvements to their premises.
The announcement was made as Mrs Foster and Mr Givan visited Salterstown Orange Hall, Ballyronan, Co Londonderry, which was substantially damaged in an arson attack several months ago.
Mrs Foster said: “Community Halls bring immeasurable benefits to the local community and this £500,000 funding will support groups across Northern Ireland to let them concentrate on enjoying the activities our community halls are designed for.
“These halls are used by many community and voluntary organisations to provide vital services and are a place for local people to come together and strengthen relationships.
Mr Givan said: “A community hall is much more than bricks and mortar for those who use them. They provide a gathering place where people can feel involved in their local community and supported in their lives.”
The Community Halls Minor Works pilot programme is intended to reach those groups and communities most in need and to make a difference and assist organisations which offer space and services to the benefit of the community.
Individual awards of up to a maximum of £25,000 will be made to community organisations.