I propose to take Questions Nos. 1062 and 1064 together.
My Department’s mission is to promote rural and community development and support the creation of vibrant and sustainable communities across this country and I am committed to the successful delivery of a number of programmes which have provided financial and other supports to community groups and organisations.
These supports enable economic growth and development and also support communities in urban and rural areas to address gaps in meeting social needs, and these supports are more important than ever as we deal with the impacts of COVID-19 and Brexit.
These ongoing challenges ensure continued demand for such supports in the form of applications received by my Department. I was delighted that we were provided with a gross Budget allocation in 2020, of over €374 million, which included €37 million in once-off COVID-19 supports and funding for communities under the July stimulus package. This allowed significant funding supports to be provided to community groups and organisations, local authorities and towns and villages across the country.
Looking ahead, my Department has been allocated €341 million in the 2021 Revised Estimates and this ensures that we are in a position to further assist communities seeking funding and other supports for important local activities and projects.
My Department will continue to support our communities to become and remain sustainable and desirable places to live, work and raise families and we are committed to reviewing the many applications received to ensure that our funding programmes remain targeted at those most in need.