For Written Answer on : 24/02/2022
Question Number(s): 473 Question Reference(s): 10602/22
Department: Rural and Community Development
Asked by: David Stanton T.D.
To ask the Minister for Rural and Community Development the number of projects per municipal district area in County Cork that sought and were allocated funding under the local improvement scheme for 2020 and 2021, respectively; the amount of funding that was drawn down by Cork County Council in 2020 and 2021 under the scheme; the amount sought by Cork County Council under the 2022 local improvement scheme; when the allocations for the 2022 scheme will be announced; and if she will make a statement on the matter.
The Local Improvement Scheme (LIS) supports the improvement of rural roads and laneways that are not normally maintained by local authorities. As part of ‘Our Rural Future’, the Government is committed to ensuring that the LIS is funded into the future. This reflects the important contribution which the scheme makes to connectivity in rural Ireland.
The allocation of funding under the Local Improvement Scheme in 2020 was based on the physical area of each county, with a maximum and minimum ceiling applied. In 2020 Cork received the maximum allocation of €900,000 and drew down a total of €896,693.
The 2021 Scheme was launched in May with funding of €10.5 million and each county was provided with an additional €20,000 relative to their 2020 allocation. On this basis, Cork was allocated €920,000. This again represented the maximum level of funding available to any individual county.
I was pleased to source additional funding during the year and allocated a further round of funding of €10.5 million to bring the total nationally under the scheme for 2021 to €21 million. This additional funding was allocated based on each local authority’s view as to their capacity to deliver improvement works by year-end. Cork County Council submitted a request for funding of €700,000 under this second tranche. The second round of funding was over subscribed and consequently each county was allocated just over 70% of the amount sought.
Cork County Council was awarded €492,738 under this second round, bringing the total allocation for 2021 in Cork to €1,412,738. The total funding drawn down by Cork in 2021 was €1,410,172, which included a small amount of their allocation that was not utilised in 2021 but which has been claimed and is being carried over into 2022. Claims for recoupment are based on a county and not municipal district basis.
Finally, I was also pleased, as part of Budget 2022, to announce an increase in the base funding for LIS from €10.5 million in 2021 to €11 million this year. I expect to launch this year’s scheme in the coming weeks.