Wednesday, 18 December 2019

Questions (438)

Ruth Coppinger


438. Deputy Ruth Coppinger asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development if he will report on the interaction with community centres (details supplied) on the issue of necessary fire safety works. [53872/19]

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Written answers (Question to Rural)

I am aware of the issues in both Hartstown and Huntstown Community Centres.  In cooperation with Fingal County Council, my officials are looking at ways in which my Department might assist in finding a resolution to these particular situations. 

Previously, I was asked about the possibility of opening a national fund for the purpose of supporting community centres that have emergency funding requirements for fire safety works.  I am pleased to inform the Deputy that, under the Dormant Accounts Action Plan for 2020, I have now put in place a very modest fund of €250,000 to assist in a limited number of particularly critical cases.

Given the large number of community centres across the country, it is not possible for this fund to support a national programme of remediation works.  However, it will allow me to make a contribution towards the costs of works in a small number of exceptionally urgent and critical cases.  In that regard, I am prepared to examine what level of funding contribution can be provided to the two centres referenced by the Deputy.

Separately, community facilities are funded from different sources across different Government Departments and agencies.  In many cases, they also receive funding supports from the local authority, as is the case in both Hartstown and Huntstown. 

My Department provides a range of supports to communities nationwide, helping people to participate in the development of their communities and providing funding to improve community facilities.  

An example of this is the Community Enhancement Programme (CEP) which can be used to contribute towards the renovation of community infrastructure such as community centres.   Fingal County Council was allocated €163,310 in respect of the CEP in 2019.