Published Thursday, 17 May 2012
The First and Deputy First Ministers announced details of £80m social fund. (© Getty)
The fund established by the Executive will support communities to build pathways to employment, tackle deprivation, increase community services and address dereliction.
The money will be invested over the next number of years, beginning later this year.
The fund will operate across nine 'Social Investment Zones'- four in Belfast, one in Derry/Londonderry and four others aligned to the Health and Social Care Trust & Children and Young People Strategic Partnership boundaries.
Community, political, statutory and business representation in each zone will develop a strategic area plan for the fund.
Welcoming the announcement Peter Robinson said: "I am determined to ensure that the £80m allocated by the Executive to this Fund begins quickly to make a real difference to the lives of people living in areas of need across this society.
"Today's decision is an example of Executive Ministers listening to communities and working together for the people of Northern Ireland."
Martin McGuinness added: "We have responded to the views expressed to us during the consultation.
"We were asked to revisit the zones to include all areas, whilst balancing this with the very real need to target resources at objective evidenced need and deliver interventions of significant scale in partnership with communities. This has been done and delivery of the Fund's objectives can now proceed."
But Alliance East Belfast MLA Chris Lyttle said he was concerned at the lack of details in the Social Investment Fund plans.
He said: "From the information just released, there is very little detail as to how the groups for the nine areas will be run.
"In order for these proposals to be effective they must be based on fairness and inclusivity."