For Oral Answer on : 15/12/2022
Question Number(s): 19 Question Reference(s): 62792/22
Department: Rural and Community Development
Asked by: David Stanton T.D.
To ask the Minister for Rural and Community Development further to Parliamentary Question No. 1150 of 12 July 2022, the number of applications that have been received and approved in County Cork under the local improvement scheme to date in 2022; and if she will make a statement on the matter.
As part of Our Rural Future, the Government is committed to ensuring that the Local Improvement Scheme is funded into the future. The scheme makes an important contribution to connectivity in rural Ireland.
As I outlined earlier, the scheme was reintroduced in 2017 following a number of years with no dedicated funding. From 2017 to 2022, my Department has allocated over €100m to support the upgrade of over 3,600 non-public roads and lanes benefiting over 16,000 landowners and residents in these rural areas. This is testimony to Government’s commitment to enhancing rural connectivity.
I launched the 2022 scheme with an initial budget of €11m. Shortly after the original question was tabled in July by the Deputy, I again doubled the LIS allocation originally envisaged in Budget 2022.
This year alone I have invested €22m in the Scheme. This constitutes a substantial portion of my Department’s overall capital budget of €208m – over €10%.
In 2022 €1.3m was allocated to upgrade LIS roads in County Cork. This has improved connectivity for 108 landowners and residents in rural cork communities.
Indeed, since the scheme was reintroduced in 2017, my Department has allocated over €7.36 million to County Cork, representing the third highest allocation nationally.
I was pleased, as part of Budget 2023, to announce an increase in the base funding for LIS to €12 million. I will continue to closely monitor expenditure patterns next year in my Department and should savings emerge, I will give consideration to again allocating additional funding to the scheme.