Wednesday, 10 March 2004

Ceisteanna (154)

Paul Kehoe

Ceist:

221 Mr. Kehoe asked the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs if his Department makes grants available to community halls. [8055/04]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs)

My Department administers a scheme in Gaeltacht areas and on the islands whereby a grant of up to 80% of the approved cost is available to local committees for the construction and renovation of community centres and for the provision of furniture and equipment therein. Applications are assessed on the basis of criteria related to: the necessity for the work; the strength of the Irish language in the area — this criterion applies only in the Gaeltacht; other facilities available in the area; the general effectiveness of the committee, including its future plans for strengthening and maintaining Irish in the district — Gaeltacht areas only; the local population; the level of finance raised locally for the project; the level of finance available in my Department's Vote for the scheme and of other demands on hands; and the recommendations made by my Department's inspectorate in each case.

A top up grant is available in mainland CLÁR areas in the Gaeltacht under this scheme. This is calculated on the basis of 20% of the approved Gaeltacht grant, subject to an overall maximum between the grant and the top up of 80% of the project cost.

Community halls are also eligible for funding from my Department via the grants scheme for locally based community and voluntary organisations. The scheme for 2004 will be advertised within the next month. Under the terms of this scheme, a grant of up to 90% of costs, subject to a maximum of up to €40,000, may be available to cover the costs of repairs or refurbishment of community halls. Priority is given under this scheme to disadvantaged communities.

Question No. 222 answered with QuestionNo. 150.