For Oral Answer on : 05/04/2022
Question Number(s): 106 Question Reference(s): 17960/22
Department: Rural and Community Development
Asked by: David Stanton T.D.
To ask the Minister for Rural and Community Development her Department’s plans to expand the community centres investment fund to include a strand specifically dedicated to the establishment of community centre facilities in communities in which none currently exist; and if she will make a statement on the matter.
My Department currently provides a number of funding streams which can be used for the improvement and development of Community Centres throughout the country.
The Rural Regeneration and Development Fund (RRDF) provides funding for the development and construction of large scale capital projects in towns and villages and rural areas across Ireland. I announced the fourth call for Category 1 applications in December 2021, with a closing date for applications of 29 April 2022.
Funding for community centre projects may also be available through the LEADER Transitional programme. This covers the period 2021-2022, and came into effect on 1 April 2021 for new project applications. The LEADER programme is administered by Local Action Groups (LAGs) in each of the 28 LEADER sub-regional areas around the county.
The Community Centres Investment Fund is a new capital fund with a budget of €15m to support community groups with the upgrade and refurbishment of existing community centres. This is an investment in both rural and urban communities across the country. It should be noted that the development of new community centres is not covered by the Fund.
The Community Centres Investment Fund will support community groups, particularly in disadvantaged areas, with the upgrade and development of their community centre facilities.
The fund will assist with projects such as:
- Energy retrofitting projects that reduce an organisation’s carbon footprint;
- Works to address safety concerns, including as a result of fire safety audits;
- Works to improve disability access;
- Works to improve communal facilities such as kitchen and toilet facilities, and
- Essential maintenance
Funding will be available under 3 Strands with grants of between €10k and €300K available:
- Strand 1: Small scale projects/improvements to facilities €10,000 – €25,000.
- Strand 2: Larger scale projects – €25,001 to €100,000.
- Strand 3: Major projects. €100,001 to €300,000.
I expect the fund to open to applications shortly. Guidelines and application forms will be available on my Department’s website at www.gov.ie/drcd.