Rural and Community Development | Funding and assistance towards rural community development
To ask the Minister for Rural and Community Development the extent to which funding made available prior to or in the course of the recent budget is likely to benefit urban and rural community development; and if she will make a statement on the matter.
To ask the Minister for Rural and Community Development the number of applicants for assistance towards urban/rural community development in the past twelve months; and if she will make a statement on the matter.
To ask the Minister for Rural and Community Development the extent to which to she can make further provision arising from Budget 2023, to assist with urban/rural community development; and if she will make a statement on the matter.
To ask the Minister for Rural and Community Development the number of headings under which she proposes to assist towards rural and community development at local level in the coming year; and if she will make a statement on the matter.
To ask the Minister for Rural and Community Development the degree to which supports from her Department in the past year has assisted rural and community enterprises throughout the period; and if she will make a statement on the matter.
My Department supports rural and urban communities across the country through programmes such as the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund, the LEADER Programme, the Town and Village Renewal Scheme, the CLAR programme, the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme and the Community Enhancement Programme. There are numerous applications under each scheme and programme every year. Details of many of the organisations funded in 2022 are available on my Department’s pages on gov.ie.
This year I have further supplemented this investment by establishing a Community Centre Investment Fund which will support groups in every county to carry out refurbishments and improvements of their local community facility. These facilities represent vital infrastructure to support our communities.
The investment in rural development is mainly focussed on capital projects, which will help support the economic growth and resilience of rural economies. My Department also operates a range of community supports such as the Community Services Programme which assists community-based organisations through a social enterprise model. It typically supports organisations to meet local service gaps and provide access to services and facilities that would otherwise generally be unavailable.
Budget 2023 provides a 4% increase in my Departments allocation, which will deliver significant support for rural and community development next year. Funding of €393 million has been made available, with €201 million for rural development, €187 million for community development, and €5 million for the Charities Regulatory Authority.
Budget 2023 provides significant supports for community groups, including a further €20 million to support community groups impacted by the rising cost of living, with €10 million of this targeted at assisting with energy costs. The framework for delivering this assistance is currently being developed by my Department to ensure access to support in a timely manner. Full scheme details, including application timeframes and eligibility criteria, will be announced shortly.
My Department continues to engage with rural and urban stakeholders to identify issues impacting on communities and respond to emerging needs, and I am confident the funding supports being provided will continue to deliver tangible benefits for all communities. Details of the funding available for organisations in 2023 will be made available as programmes are launched in 2023.
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