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 is now in the final stages of delivery.  Across the 9 investment zones in Northern Ireland a total of £86.5 million has been allocated to 65 projects; 46 capital projects delivering improvements to 106 premises and 19 revenue projects focused on employment, health and educational outcomes. 44 capital projects (104 premises) with investment of £45.2 million have completed construction and all 19 revenue projects have now completed delivery with investment of £39.5 million. Local people in disadvantaged communities are now directly benefiting from the opportunities being provided from the Fund.

Local people in disadvantaged communities are now directly benefiting from the opportunities being provided from the Fund. These include opportunities around key issues such as increasing employment potential through gaining valuable experience and training; opportunities to avail of early intervention services to support children and families to maximise their future potential and dedicated educational support to increase future prospects.  

This is in addition to benefiting from significant investment to regenerate areas and tackle dereliction to make neighbourhoods more appealing and to increase the level of community services being delivered.

To date over 58,000 people have benefitted from SIF revenue projects, over 6,000 people engaged in employment/training projects; over 29,000 engaged in early intervention projects and over 22,000 engaged in projects focused on education. In addition, over 363,000 people have availed of the services on offer in operational capital builds.


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. 

Additionally, there is also a celebration film highlighting the successful outcomes of the SIF Let’s Work employment project.

SIF Southern Capital Projects

SIF Let’s Work Employment Project: The video above is a short celebration film that shows the outcomes of the Let’s Work Employment Project.

The video above shows the outcomes of the Work IT Employability Project which provided those who are most removed from the labour market a bridge to the world of work by improving participants’ skills and general employability.

The video above documents the outcomes and learning from the Ethical Investment project which provided technical assistance and support to develop social economies in North Belfast.

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 66 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 accessing 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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