For Oral Answer on : 15/09/2022
Question Number(s): 90 Question Reference(s): 45150/22
Department: Rural and Community Development
Asked by: David Stanton T.D.
To ask the Minister for Rural and Community Development the options that are available to communities who wish to apply for the community centre fund but do not currently have community centre facilities; 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.
Under the 2022 Town and Village Renewal Scheme, where there is a clearly identified and defined need in a town or village that cannot be met with an existing premises, I have included a provision for funding for new build community centres. The deadline for applications under the Scheme was 22 July 2022. I expect to be in a position to announce successful applicants later this year.
Funding for community centre projects may 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 29 LEADER sub-regional areas around the county.
The Community Centres Investment Fund (CCIF) is a new capital fund with a budget of €15m to support community groups with the upgrade and refurbishment of existing community centres. It should be noted that the development of new community centres is not covered by the Fund.
Separately, my Department currently have a number of schemes that are relevant to community centres such as Community Enhancement Programme (CEP). The programme in 2021 provided €4.5m funding for small capital grants for the improvement of facilities. It is envisaged that the CEP will run again later in 2022, however, details of the fund and the allocations available have not yet been confirmed.
I also launched Community Activities Fund (CAF) last year to support community and voluntary groups impacted by COVID-19. This Fund helped community groups, particularly in disadvantaged areas, with their running costs such as utility or insurance bills, as well as with improvements to their facilities. The CAF is currently closed for applications, however, I will keep a future iteration under consideration.