Wednesday, 13 November 2019

Questions (209)

Jack Chambers


209. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development the supports, funding schemes and grants which are available to non-governmental environmental and conservation organisations; the updates to same made in budget 2020; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46771/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Rural)

I have provided the information requested by the Deputy in the following table. It details the supports, funding schemes and grants which are available from my Department to non-governmental environmental and conservation organisations and the updates to same made in Budget 2020.

DRCD Supports, funding schemes grants available to non-governmental environmental & conservation organisations.

Budget 2020

Description of Support

Dormant Account Fund – Training and Mentoring Supports for Social Enterprises Pilot Scheme (€800k* in 2019).

€2 million has been allocated to Social Enterprise Measure of the Dormant Accounts Fund, the specific breakdown of this funding has yet to be determined, but will be in line with the objectives of the National Social Enterprise policy. 

The scheme, administered on the Department’s behalf by Pobal, provides supports to organisations providing training and mentoring to social enterprises.

Dormant Account Fund – Small Capital Grants Scheme for Social Enterprises (€1m* in 2019).

(*The above supports are available to social enterprises operating in   all sectors (i.e. healthcare, equality, work integration) including environmental and conservation. )

See above

The scheme, administered on the Department’s behalf by Local Development Companies (LDCs), provides grants of between €2,000 and €15,000 for equipment, repairs or refurbishments which will enable social enterprises to improve their service delivery.

Rural Regeneration and Development Fund


The Rural Regeneration and Development Fund seeks to support ambitious and strategic projects which have the potential to transform rural economies and communities. The Government has committed €1 billion over 10 years to the Fund and €315 million is allocated to the Fund for the period 2019-2022.


The Fund sets out to support major coordinated and integrated capital projects which involve co-operation between public bodies and communities, philanthropic funders or the private sector. For the purposes of public financial procedures, however, the lead party to an application has to be a State-funded body, such as a Local Authority, State Agency or LEADER group. It should also be noted that the minimum funding request for Category 1 proposals to the Fund is €500,000.


Competitive calls for applications to the Fund are opened on a periodic basis and prospective applicants can familiarise themselves with the objectives and rules of the Fund on the website -  

LEADER Programme

Rural Environment theme

Funding allocation is set for overall programmable period (2014-2020).  €23.8million allocated allocated to Rural Environment theme.

Depending on the nature of the activity proposed, grant aid is available under the LEADER Programme. Potential applicants should contact their Local Action Group (LAGs) in order to assess the eligibility of their proposed activity.

Community Enhancement Programme

€4.5 million

Community Enhancement Programme provides capital funding to community groups and organisations across Ireland. This allows these groups to enhance facilities in disadvantaged areas.

Examples of projects that can be funded include:

- IT and CCTV equipment

- minor improvements to buildings

- minor renovation of community centres

- development of community amenities

- improvements to town parks, common areas and energy-saving projects

Town and Village Renewal Scheme

€15 million

Community Groups may apply for funding through the Local Authority for projects of an   environmental or conservation nature that fall within the remit of Town and Village Renewal Scheme Outline.

Community  Services Programme

The budget for 2020 has increased by €700,000 to €46.89m

The Community Services Programme, or CSP, supports around 400 community organisations to provide local services through a social enterprise model. The funding is provided as a fixed annual contribution towards the cost of an agreed number of full-time equivalent (FTE) positions including a manager where warranted.  Almost €47 million is available under the programme in 2020 to support community organisations, including environmental and conservation organisations.


There are currently 35 CSP supported organisations deemed as environmental and conservation organisations, which provide a range of supports and services including recycling, insulation, delivery of the Better Energy Warmer Homes Scheme and other SEAI sponsored initiatives. 


During 2020, these CSP supported organisations will receive funding of c. €4.4m towards the cost of employing 174 FTEs and 34 managers.