Tuesday, 12 March 2019

Ceisteanna (623)

Paul Kehoe


623. Deputy Paul Kehoe asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development the grant schemes available for items (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12027/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Rural)

The provision the items referred to by the Deputy may be eligible for funding under a number of my Department's programmes, including LEADER, the Community Enhancement Programme and CLÁR.

LEADER is a multi-annual programme covering the period 2014-2020 which is delivered through Local Action Groups in each of the 28 LEADER sub-regional areas around the country. Funding can be provided under a broad range of defined themes, which include enterprise development and social inclusion.

The Social Inclusion theme of the LEADER Programme focuses on the provision of services for people living in rural and remote areas and, in that context, support for the services referred to by the Deputy could potentially be considered eligible for LEADER funding.

In order for a project to be eligible for funding under LEADER, it must be compatible with the actions outlined in the approved Local Development Strategy in the LEADER sub-regional area concerned, and it must comply with the Operating Rules and EU Regulations in place for the programme.

The decision to approve a project, or otherwise, is a matter for the Local Action Groups (LAGs) which administer the programme in each LEADER area. Interested applicants should, in the first instance, contact the relevant LAG through its Implementing Partners to discuss the funding that may be available. Contact details for all LAGs are available on my Department's website at http://drcd.gov.ie/wp-content/uploads/list-of-LAGs.pdf.

The Community Enhancement Programme provides capital grants to community groups to help them to enhance facilities in disadvantaged areas. The details of the 2019 programme are currently being finalised by the Department and I anticipate that the programme will be launched in the coming weeks. Applications should be made to the Local Community Development Committee in the relevant area.

The CLÁR programme has, in the past, provided funding for the items referred to by the Deputy, to established organisations that operate on a voluntary basis and are involved in emergency rescue or first response efforts in the community. CLÁR operates in specific designated rural areas that have experienced high levels of depopulation.

I launched the 2019 CLÁR programme on 28 February last. The measures being funded under the programme this year include a Community Wellbeing Supports measure, comprising:

(a) First Response Support

(b) Mobility and Cancer Care Transport

(c) Sensory Gardens.

The First Response Support, in particular, encompasses the assistance given in previous years for voluntary first-response organisations. Application forms for this funding are available on my Department's website www.drcd.gov.ie .