Thursday, 5 December 2019

Questions (16)

Dara Calleary


16. Deputy Dara Calleary asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development the number of projects approved under the town and village renewal scheme in 2018 and to date in 2019; the number of projects that were not approved in each year; the reason for refusal; and if there is an appeal mechanism in place to appeal refusal decisions. [50619/19]

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Written answers (Question to Rural)

There has been a strong level of  interest in the Town and Village Renewal Scheme since it was introduced in 2016.

In 2018, I approved 224 projects under the Town and Village Renewal Scheme, with 66 applications being unsuccessful.

In 2019, 309 applications were received by my Department under the scheme, seeking funding of over €31 million. 

The selection of projects was by means of a competitive process and, on 31st October last, I announced details of 156 projects that have been approved for funding of €15 million this year. Unfortunately it was not possible to support all of the applicants within the available budget and the remaining 153 projects were unsuccessful on this occasion.  

There are a number of reasons why projects are not approved for funding in each year. This is generally where a  project is not eligible under the terms of the scheme, or where the project does not score high enough compared to other applications.  

There is no formal appeals system in place for the Town and Village Renewal Scheme. However, my officials are available to provide feedback to the Local Authorities in respect of any unsuccessful applications. 

While I understand that the unsuccessful projects will be disappointed by the outcome, the assessment process ensures that the Department is funding projects that deliver the best return for the public monies available.  Local Authorities will also have the opportunity to submit revised applications in respect of the unsuccessful towns or village projects to the 2020 scheme.