Some €2.2m has been made available in funding to date to support the provision of Youth Cafés. One of the core functions of a youth café is that it offers support to young people, ranging from practical support through to advice and participation in activities of interest to them that are varied and on offer at times that suit their normal activities. It is estimated that there are now over 100 Youth Cafés in existence. Funding of up to €1 million is available in 2013 from my Department for fit-out, refurbishment works or building enhancement projects for the startup of new Youth Cafés. Pobal is assisting my Department in managing the Youth Café scheme 2013. The criteria for the Scheme place a clear focus on both long term sustainability and service planning.
Some 95 applications have been received for the 2013 Youth Café scheme. The initial appraisal process of the applications received is in the final stages. It is expected that applications that are successful in the initial appraisal process will go through to the second phase of the process and will be notified in the coming weeks. These applications will be further evaluated over the period July to October 2013. It is anticipated that the draw-down of funding by the successful applications that emerge from the second phase and are considered suitable for contracts will commence in November, 2013.