Social Investment Fund

The Social Investment Fund (SIF) was set up to deliver social change. It aims to make life better for people living in targeted areas by reducing poverty, unemployment and physical deterioration.
The fund will run until March 2020 and all funding has been committed to projects prioritised by local Steering Groups.

The SIF programme is now in full delivery mode. The full £80 million budget has been committed to a total of 65 projects across the 9 SIF zones in Northern Ireland. These include 46 capital projects which are delivering improvements to 107 premises and 19 revenue projects. 34 capital projects (91 premises) with investment of £35.4 million have completed construction. 19 revenue projects are operational and are delivering benefits to local communities - indeed 18 revenue projects are now completed with investment of £31.6 million.

To date over 45,000 people have benefitted from these revenue projects: over 5,000 through employment/training projects; over 28,000 through early intervention projects and over 12,000 through projects focused on education.


Find out about what the Social Investment Fund is doing and how it is supporting communities via the link below:

Short films of SIF outcomes

Below you can view some short films on the outcomes achieved by SIF projects.

There is a complilation film (7 ½ minutes long) which includes a number of SIF projects.  For those who have an interest in a particular area we have broken this film down into its constituent parts:

  • Capital projects
  • Social economy
  • Early intervention and
  • Employability projects

There is also a short film highlighting the lessons learned during the delivery of the SIF Work Ready West employability project. 

About the fund

The Social Investment Fund is focused on supporting communities to:

  • increase employment opportunities by addressing things such as educational underachievement, lack of skills, access to jobs and making it appealing for businesses to start up in areas which have suffered deprivation
  • tackle issues such as mental and physical health, use of drugs and alcohol, becoming a young mother, young people’s involvement in antisocial behaviour and the ability of communities to work together which can all be associated with deprivation
  • increase services in the community by improving existing facilities, making the environment better and providing additional facilities where needed and possible
  • address dereliction in order to make areas more appealing for investment and for those living there

Operation of the fund

Steering Groups

The fund is being delivered in partnership with communities across nine social investment zones. Each zone has a steering group with up to 14 members from the business, political, statutory and voluntary and community sectors. The Steering Groups developed and prioritised projects to address priority needs in each zone.

Information on the Steering group membership can be found at the link below.

How the investment zones were decided

Four zones identified outside Belfast are broadly the same as the areas where the health and social care trusts operate. Four zones are in the Greater Belfast area and are largely based on Northern Ireland Assembly constituencies. One zone is aligned with the Derry City Council boundary.

Eligibility for funding

The Steering Groups for each zone were asked to identify areas eligible to avail of SIF interventions related to the 4 objectives. It was agreed that the following measures would be used to decide which areas were eligible:

  • areas within the top 10 per cent of most deprived Super Output Areas on the Multiple Deprivation Measure 2010
  • areas within the top 20 per cent of most deprived Super Output Areas on the key indicators of income, employment, education and health
  • areas which could provide independently verified and robust evidence of objective need linked to the four strategic objectives of the Social Investment Fund (as detailed above)

Current Position

A total of 68 projects prioritised by local Steering groups are being delivered under the Social Investment Fund. Funding has been committed to all projects and details are available by clicking on the link below.

SIF Gateway Reports

The NI Executive and Procurement Board endorsed, formalised and introduced the Gateway Review Process in Northern Ireland in December 2003.

The Gateway Review process is a series of independent peer reviews at key stages of a programme or project lifecycle, aimed at ensuring its successful delivery.

The Social Investment Fund (SIF) was subject to a total of 4 Gateway reviews and the final reports are available via the link below:

Contact Social Investment Project Team

If you would like more information about the Social Investment Project you can contact the SIF project team

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