The Government's Recovery and Resilience Plan, published on 15 September 2020, acknowledges the importance of communities working together at this challenging time. Community organisations are often the focal point for vital activities that can foster community resilience.
My Department's Community Services Programme (CSP) supports over 400 community organisations. A Support Fund of €1.2m was put in place earlier this year, providing additional funding to many of these CSP organisations which had suffered a loss of income due to the Covid-19 restrictions.
My Department also introduced a package of supports for Community and Voluntary Organisations, Charities and Social Enterprises in the context of COVID-19, which included a Stability Scheme of up to €35m. Organisations registered as companies limited by guarantee were eligible to apply under Phase One of the Stability Scheme which is now closed. Many community organisations that meet the eligibility criteria are receiving support under this fund.
The 2020 Community Enhancement Programme with funding of €2m providing small capital grants to community organisations was launched in June. Separately, under the July stimulus package my Department launched a €5m fund for repairs or upgrades to community centres and community buildings. Details can be found at this link www.gov.ie/en/press-release/2af76-minister-joe-obrien-announces-details-of-5m-funding-for-community-centres-community-facilities/.
The Rural Development Investment Programme is being tailored to address the emerging challenges associated with COVID-19. This includes the Town and Village Renewal Scheme , which is currently open for applications. Improvements to Community centres have been funded through this scheme in the past.
My Department will continue to work with relevant stakeholders, including the Community and Voluntary sector, Local Authorities and Local Development Companies, to support community organisations across the country as they deal with the ongoing and emerging challenges presented by Covid-19.