The RAPID (Revitalising Areas by Planning, Investment and Development) programme aims to ensure that priority attention is given to tackling the spatial concentration of poverty and social exclusion in RAPID areas nationally. The programme has made substantial progress in identifying the needs of disadvantaged communities and in bringing forward appropriate local projects in response to those needs.
I have provided funding of €2 million for RAPID in 2013, this will be used to meet the Department’s existing contractual commitments on RAPID projects throughout the country, mainly Sports Capital top-ups and CCTV systems, jointly funded with the Departments of Transport, Tourism and Sport and Justice and Equality respectively.
I am keen that a focus is continued on the RAPID areas, through the range of local and community development interventions that are available on an area basis. Enhanced alignment between local government and local development is intended to improve the targeting of such local development spend. In that context, there will be an opportunity for a stronger, collaborative focus to be put on support for RAPID areas.
In implementing local government reform decisions, my Department will continue to consult as necessary with relevant stakeholders.