Press release: Applications open for £1 million Money Advice Service funding grants

Wednesday 2 September 2015

The Money Advice Service has today opened applications for its three-year debt advice funding programme in Northern Ireland (2016-2019), with up to £1 million in the first year available to potential partners. This funding means that consumers in Northern Ireland will continue to have access to high quality free debt advice across all 11 council areas which will help them get their debts under control and improve their quality of life.

Research* commissioned by MAS shows that each year in Northern Ireland, around 24,000 people are actively seeking debt advice. This funding will help ensure that access to high quality free debt advice is available to meet the needs of these consumers.

The grant programme consists of two separate funding streams:

  1. Community Wide Projects: Open to organisations to deliver debt advice to over-indebted people in Northern Ireland, with funding available for three years, with up to £800,000 available in year one.
  2. Thematic Projects: Open to organisations who will work to improve engagement with people in Northern Ireland who are not currently coming forward for debt advice. Funding will be available for three years, with up to £200,000 available in the first year. The Thematic Projects funding stream will open for applications on 28 September, 2015.

Both funding streams are open to applications from not-for-profit organisations, who may apply as a single applicant or may be part of a wider consortium. The Service is looking for applications under Stream 1 where the project will focus on making multi-channel advice available through working with a range of referral partners,

The Money Advice Service will be collaborating closely with the Department for Social Development (DSD) and Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment (DETI), to ensure that policy around debt advice services in Northern Ireland best meets the needs of people in the area.

Commenting on the new funding programme, Lesley Robinson, UK Debt Director said: “Personal debt levels in Northern Ireland remain high. We know that debt advice can make a difference to help those struggling to keep their debts under control, and in making this funding available we are looking to work with partners to make debt advice available to as many people as possible across NI over the three years of the agreement.”

The deadline for applications for Stream 1 (Community Wide Debt Advice) is 12:00 on Monday 9 November 2015 and for Stream 2 (Thematic Debt Advice) the deadline is 12:00 on Monday 16 November 2015.

Organisations wishing to apply should register on the MAS eSourcing portal in order to access information relating to the grant programme, application forms, and guidance. This can be accessed here: mas.bravosolution.co.uk

-ENDS-

For more information or to arrange an interview with a Money Advice Service spokesperson, please contact Pressoffice@moneyadviceservice.org.uk

Notes to Editors

***** Research. The data is from a Face to face Omnibus survey by Ipsos MORI (2,015 interviews).

About the Money Advice Service The Money Advice Service is an independent organisation. It gives free, unbiased money advice online at moneyadviceservice.org.uk, over the phone on 0300 500 5000, and face-to-face right across the UK. The Service was set up by Government and is paid for by a statutory levy on the financial services industry, raised through the Financial Conduct Authority. Its statutory objectives are to enhance the understanding and knowledge of members of the public about financial matters (including the UK financial system); and to enhance the ability of members of the public to manage their own financial affairs.