§ Mrs. Calton
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what progress has been made by the Northern Ireland Office with the Small Business Security Grant Scheme. 
§ Jane Kennedy
The Small Business Security Grant Scheme is administered by the Northern Ireland Crime Prevention Panel (NICPP), a registered charity which aims to promote initiatives that help reduce crime locally. The NIO has provided funding amounting to £650,000 for the scheme. The panel established a scoring system based against which to assess applications. After a slow start, 1,800 applications were received by the closing date of 31 January 2002 exceeding expectations and the funding available. £560,000 has already been distributed to 631 successful applicants. The NICPP's Awards Panel has recently met to approve a further tranche of grants and to finalise the arrangements finalising the scheme at the end of November 2002 by which time all applicants to the scheme will have been informed as to the outcome of their application.