My Department has made a number of specific allocations to projects that were submitted in RAPID plans. Six new community development projects in RAPID areas were prioritised since the commencement of the programme, with each receiving a renewable one year contract for funding of €60,000. Approximately €3.6 million was allocated to specific projects from RAPID plans from funding available to my Department for local drugs task forces and the young people's facilities and services fund. A further €1 million was also allocated under the premises initiative for a community drugs project. Special provision was made for RAPID areas under the dormant accounts plan. Of the €30 million dormant accounts fund allocated to date, 70%, or €21 million, has been allocated to RAPID areas.
As the Deputy is aware, I have also put in place a mechanism to help progress small scale proposals at local level in RAPID areas, supported by a dedicated fund of €4.5 million in 2004. These proposals are being co-funded by the relevant Department or local agency under a number of categories, with broad levels of funding agreed at national level. Funding totalling €2 million was allocated to RAPID areas under the local authority housing estate enhancement scheme, which is co-funded by my Department and the local authorities. Under the RAPID playgrounds scheme, which my Department co-funds with the Department of Health and Children, a total of €3 million was allocated to RAPID areas. My Department has provided top-up funding of €2.2 million to successful projects in RAPID areas that were endorsed by the area implementation teams under the sports capital programme 2004, which is administered by the Department of Arts, Sport and Tourism. My Department is also providing approximately €170,000 to co-fund a number of specific projects in RAPID areas with the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform. The roll-out of these co-funding measures will continue into 2005 with an increased allocation of €6 million. I hope to make further announcements in this regard in the New Year.
As regards the larger projects from RAPID plans that have already been submitted to Departments, these will continue to be considered for funding within existing fundingstreams in each Department. However, I expect that Departments will now be dealing with a smaller number of projects and will, therefore, be in a better position to prioritise projects and set out time scales for further actions. Work on improving integration and co-ordination of service delivery at local level will also continue, as this is a key component of the RAPID programme.
Finally, I will continue to raise prioritisation of the RAPID programme with my ministerial colleagues, particularly in regard to non-capital issues from RAPID plans.