New €2m fund to boost community projects around the country - Minister Catherine Byrne launches Communities Facilities Scheme
Catherine Byrne TD, Minister of State for Communities and the National Drugs Strategy today (10 March 2017) announced the launch of the new €2m Communities Facilities Scheme, which will be a welcome boost for community groups across Ireland.
Speaking at the Radisson Hotel in Sligo, Minister Byrne said “I am delighted to be able to announce the launch of the Communities Facilities Scheme and deliver on this key commitment in the Programme for Government. This Scheme offers community groups access to capital funding in order to kick-start, advance or complete their projects. I look forward to seeing the boost this will give to a variety of projects in many communities, both urban and rural, across the country. It is, and has always been my strong belief, that we must put communities first. By making funding available through programmes like this, the Government is showing its belief in the value of communities, the importance of voluntary community groups and the hard work of their volunteers throughout the country.”
The Communities Facilities Scheme is targeted at disadvantaged urban and rural areas, but not exclusively so. It will fund projects that seek to enhance communities, address disadvantage and improve social cohesion at a local level. The scheme will operate in a complementary manner with other schemes or programmes being operated in communities adding value to those and to other frontline schemes. It will also seek to address some of the difficulties local community groups very often face in accessing small scale levels of funding to match their own fundraising efforts, in order to get community projects off the ground.
Minister Byrne concluded by saying “With a total allocation of €2 million in this year’s Budget and a general maximum amount approved per project of €1,000, it will be possible to provide funding to a wide range of projects. I am delighted with the role of the Local Authorities and Local Community Development Committees in delivering this Scheme. I believe that they are ideally placed to identify the applications which most suitably address the Scheme's target groups and issues in their own administrative areas.”
Further details in relation to the Communities Facilities Scheme including application forms for funding can be found on the Department’s website at http://www.housing.gov.ie/community/local-and-community-development/communities-facilities-scheme
Note for Editors:
The Programme for Government gave a commitment to develop a new Community Development Scheme which would be the responsibility of the Minister of State for Communities and the National Drugs Strategy in the Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government.
- An allocation of €2 million has been made available for the Scheme in Budget 2017. The Department will make one payment of €64,500 being an equal share (allowing for rounding) of the total €2 million allocation, to each of the 31 Local Authorities.
- Funding will relate to capital projects only and is intended to help grassroots community projects get underway or take the next step towards completion.
- The Local Community Development Committees (LCDCs) under the remit of the Local Authorities (LAs) will be responsible for targeting and allocating funding.
- Local Authorities, on behalf of the Local Community Development Committees, will make payments directly to the successful groups as required.
- In order to receive support from the Scheme, applicant groups must be based in the administrative area of the LA where the application is submitted. Where an applicant group is not a member of the Public Participation Network (PPN), they should be invited to become members as part of the application process.