The group referred to by the Deputy has, since 1998, been in receipt of core funding under the community development programme operated by my Department. The core funding provided to projects included in the programme allows for the employment of two full-time staff equivalent, together with the overheads and administration costs of running a resource centre. My Department does not generally provide funding above what is appropriate to meet this staffing norm. Accordingly, projects are expected to draw down additional funding for activities undertaken or services provided from the relevant Department or agency.
The core funding to the group in 2003 amounted to €87,000. The allocation to the group for 2004 is currently being determined.
A limited amount of funding is also set aside each year to enable projects funded under the programme to apply for additional grants towards equipment, refurbishment, premises, education, training, networking and research. Given the limited amount of funding available, it is not always possible to fund every application submitted by projects. In this context, applications for funding in 2003 were asked to prioritise their application(s). The group in question has been successful in securing funding through this once-off grant scheme in previous years and in 2003 I approved a grant of €3,050 towards the cost of running courses in confidence building through creative role play and drama, which the group identified as a priority over all other applications.