I propose to take Questions Nos. 245, 247, 252 and 258 together.
My Department delivers a wide range of policies and measures to support urban and rural communities. Funding strands include the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund, LEADER, Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme (SICAP), Community Services Programme, Community Enhancement Programme, CLÁR Programme, Local Improvement Scheme, and funding for public libraries across the country. Funding is available to eligible community groups and organisations throughout the country.
The amount allocated by my Department for urban and rural development and renewal purposes in the past three years to-date is, €133 million in 2017, €251 million in 2018, €315 million in 2019, €313 million in 2020, and €267 million to date in 2021.
Kildare was allocated €2.9 million in 2017, €4.2 million in 2018, €10.9 million in 2019, €7.6 million in 2020 and €3.3 million to date in 2021. Details of funding allocations under specific schemes provided by my Department are available online at www.gov.ie/en/organisation/department-of-rural-and-community-development/.
My Department is also responsible for a number of national policies containing measures to improve the lives of people throughout the country. These include the National Policy on Social Enterprise, and Sustainable, Inclusive and Empowered Communities: 5 Year Strategy to Support the Community and Voluntary Sector 2019-2024 .
The new national rural development policy Our Rural Future, which I launched in March, sets out a blueprint for the development of rural Ireland over the next five years. The policy is supported by 150 commitments across Government, which will address the challenges facing communities and deliver new opportunities for people living in rural areas.
Delivery of the measures contained in the policy will help rural Ireland to recover from the impacts of COVID-19, enable long-term development of rural areas, and create more resilient rural economies and communities for the future. Ongoing dialogue over the course of the five year policy timeframe will ensure that rural communities are at the heart of designing and delivering responses that meet local needs.
My Department will continue to deliver these important funding schemes and policies to support both urban and rural communities, improve quality of life, and enable local and community development sectors to continue to provide valuable much needed services and supports to all communities throughout the country.