Thursday, 11 July 2019

Questions (868)

Thomas Byrne

Question:

868. Deputy Thomas Byrne asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development if he will make funding available to tidy towns groups. [30600/19]

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Written answers (Question to Rural)

The TidyTowns competition was originally launched by Fáilte Ireland over 60 years ago. Since its inception, the competition has grown from 52 entrants in 1958, to 915 entries this year. The continued success of the competition is due to the countless hours of effort from TidyTowns Committees the length and breadth of the country.

As Minister for Rural and Community Development, I was delighted to be in a position to announce grant funding to TidyTowns Committees of €1.4 million for each of the years 2017 and 2018, to mark the 60th anniversary of the competition. This funding has allowed the Committees to better prepare for the annual competition through the purchase or upgrade of small equipment and other materials.

Under the 2017 allocation, 906 TidyTowns Committees received grant funding of between €1,000 and €4,000 each, depending on the size of their town or village. Under the 2018 allocation, 858 TidyTowns Committees availed of similar levels of funding.

I will consider, later this year, whether I will be in a position to allocate funding to the TidyTowns Committees through this particular funding stream in 2019. It should be noted that TidyTowns Committees can apply, as community groups, for funding to other schemes within my Department, such as the Community Enhancement Programme. That programme is administered through the Local Community Development Committees (LCDCs) and in 2018, 158 Tidy Town Committees were approved for funding totalling €536,816 under this scheme.