Thursday, 24 October 2019

Questions (45)

John Curran

Question:

45. Deputy John Curran asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development if additional funds will be provided for the community enhancement programme in 2019 in view of the fact that in 2018 the fund was €13 million and in 2019 it was €4.5 million and in further view of his previous comments that if savings in his Department were identified he would consider additional funding for the fund; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [43801/19]

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Written answers (Question to Rural)

The Community Enhancement Programme helps community groups to improve facilities in their area. It supports a range of investment in all areas of communities, such as childcare facilities, playgrounds, recreational facilities, sports grounds, landscaping projects, and supports for the elderly. 

In 2018, I launched the programme with initial funding of €4.5m.  There was a huge level of interest in the programme so I was delighted to be in a position to allocate additional once-off funding to the programme later in the year and the final amount allocated was €13 million.  This included €0.5 million that was ring-fenced for Men's Sheds.  Over 3,000 projects across the country were funded, all of them targeted at enhancing facilities in disadvantaged communities.

In 2019, I launched the programme with initial funding of €4.5m. I subsequently allocated an additional €0.5m under the Community Enhancement Programme for a ring-fenced fund for Men's and Women's Sheds.  This has brought the total funding this year to €5m.

Expenditure across all of my Department's programmes has been on profile so far in 2019, and this looks set to continue until the end of the year.  However, if savings are identified, I will consider allocating additional funding to the Community Enhancement Programme.