The allocation of grants under the community enterprise centre, CEC, scheme is the responsibility of Enterprise Ireland, the agency charged with administering the scheme, and not a matter in which I have a direct role. I am informed by Enterprise Ireland that no grants were approved under the CEC scheme in 2004. The most recent CEC scheme was the community enterprise centre 2002 scheme under which a sum of €8 million was approved to support the scheme. The objective of the scheme was to enhance the development of an enterprise climate through the provision of infrastructural facilities to support the establishment and expansion of micro enterprises through local community participation.
Under the CEC 2002 initiative, which was a competitive scheme, a total of 70 projects were approved for support by Enterprise Ireland. These were announced in two tranches — the first on 6 August 2002 in respect of 50 approvals to the value of €5,166,306, the second on 29 September 2003 in respect of 20 approvals to the value of €2,838,472.
Under the CEC 2002 scheme, Enterprise Ireland has to date paid nearly €2 million. Shannon Development has also paid out more than €500,000 in respect of projects undertaken within the Shannon region. It is anticipated that the remainder will be paid from 2005 onwards as the promoters incur the costs against which the grants can be claimed and paid. A time lag in requests for payment normally occurs as approximately 70% if approvals were for capital grant support, where planning permission and construction is part of the process.