A new £2m fund has been launched by the Ulster Community Investment Trust (UCIT) to assist church groups and faith-based organisations across Northern Ireland.
St. James’ Church of Ireland in Moy is investing over £650,000 to redevelop the Parish’s church hall and is the first recipient of the new Fund. UCIT provided a loan of £250,000 towards the final costs.
Alan Moneypenny, Chairman of UCIT said: “St James’ Parish Hall is situated in the heart of Moy village and attracts up to 250 people a week. The church is an essential lifeline for many in the community and offers many outreach projects such as a youth club, toddler groups and sporting activities.
“UCIT are delighted to assist the Parish with the tasteful renovation of the 19th century building, together with the construction of a modern annex, improving the overall facilities provided including a sports hall, catering facilities and installation a new heating system.”
He added: “UCIT can provide churches and faith- based organisations with tailored, flexible finance which takes into account the needs of the sector. As a registered charity all profits generated by UCIT are retained and recycled for the benefit of its clients. There has already been strong interest in our new Faith Fund and this demonstrates the need for additional funding in the sector.”
Reverend Aonghus Mayes rector, said: “Our church hall has been in critical need of repair for a long time. The loan from UCIT has enabled the Parish to create a “The launch of the new Fund is welcome news for the sector and we were impressed by UCIT’s responsiveness, flexibility and competitive rates.”
The new Faith Fund will provide loans of £5,000+ for purposes such as, refurbishments, extensions, purchase of equipment and restructuring existing debt.
UCIT has supported in excess of 400 community organisations, charities and social enterprises with loan commitments totalling over £80 million. These include other Churches and Faith-based organisations such as the Elim Trust Corporation which received funding to assist with affordable housing and childcare projects in Newtownabbey and Carryduff.
In many instances the community projects would not have been possible without the flexible, but professional approach adopted by the Trust in its lending