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A scheme to support Outdoor Education Centres impacted by Covid-19 is being extended.

Funding of £1m was announced by the Education Minister, Peter Weir, in January for centres that provide curricular relevant, residential outdoor learning opportunities for children and young people.

To date, nine centres have received over £600,000. The criteria is now being extended to include support for those voluntary youth organisations delivering annual residential events and programmes.

Peter Weir said: “There has been a good response from Outdoor Education Centres seeking financial support through the scheme. I am now asking all eligible centres who could benefit from the funding to make sure they apply before the deadline of 12 March 2021.

“In addition, I recognise that not all residential services are provided directly within outdoor education centres but rather are delivered in other locations by centres and voluntary youth providers including uniformed organisations and churches. These will include annual residential events and programmes which are usually planned in advance and incur costs as a result.

“I would encourage any organisation which believes it is eligible to read the criteria on the Education Authority website to see if they can avail of funding and continue to provide a vital service to our children and young people in the future.”

The Covid-19 Residential Outdoor Education Centre Relief Fund will be administered by the Education Authority’s (EA) Youth Service and will be open for applications from today, 5 March 2021.

Funding has been provided as part of the Executive’s Covid-19 Relief Fund.