Charitable and Voluntary Organisations

Ceisteanna (2620)

Robert Troy

Ceist:

2620. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development further to Parliamentary Question No. 865 of 11 July 2019, the number of Pobal posts which will be advertised for the Mullingar, County Westmeath office in autumn 2019. [32931/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Rural)

Pobal is a not for profit company established by the Irish Government in 1992. It works on behalf of the Irish Government in managing and supporting programmes in the areas of Social Inclusion and Equality, Inclusive Employment and Enterprise, and Early Years and Young People.

Pobal are currently negotiating the rental and fit out of a new office space in Mullingar, County Westmeath. The new space is expected to accommodate up to 50 seats. Whilst negotiations are ongoing, once the office is secured a number of new jobs will be created and these will be advertised in the Autumn on www.pobal.ie , their twitter account @Pobal, and other sources.

Departmental Surveys

Ceisteanna (2621)

Anne Rabbitte

Ceist:

2621. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development the number of feasibility studies conducted by his Department in County Galway in each of the years 2016 to 2018 and to date in 2019, in tabular form; the names of each project being studied; the amount allocated and drawn down for each study; the person or body that sought each study; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32948/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Rural)

My Department has not conducted any feasibility studies in County Galway from the date of its establishment on 19 July 2017 to- date.

Local Improvement Scheme Funding

Ceisteanna (2622)

Carol Nolan

Ceist:

2622. Deputy Carol Nolan asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development his plans to allocate extra funding to local improvement schemes; and if so, when funding will be allocated. [33131/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Rural)

Since I reintroduced the Local Improvement Scheme (LIS) in September 2017, I have allocated over €48 million to Local Authorities for improvement works on non-public roads in rural areas.

Over 2,000 roads have benefitted from this funding, which has led to improved access for landowners and residents along the roads in question.

I launched the 2019 Local Improvement Scheme (LIS) on 7th February last, and allocated a sum of €10 million to Local Authorities under the scheme. The allocations on a county-by-county basis are available on the Gov.ie website at the following link

https://www.gov.ie/en/policy-information/d309ea-local-improvement-scheme/.

I am closely monitoring expenditure on the scheme and I will make decisions regarding any further funding allocations for the LIS in due course, having regard to the overall level of funding available to my Department.

LEADER Programmes Funding

Ceisteanna (2623)

Brendan Griffin

Ceist:

2623. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development if additional funding will be provided for the LEADER programme in County Kerry in view of the demand for funding; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33251/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Rural)

The total amount of funding allocated to County Kerry for the duration of the 2014-2020 LEADER programme is in excess of €10.2 million, which includes administration and project funding.

The project allocation for the Kerry region is €7,650,904 and the Local Action Group (LAG) is making good progress in delivering the programme. To date, 252 projects have been approved for funding of €5,313,233 which represents almost 70% of their available project budget. A further 24 project applications requesting €897,250 are at various stages in the approval process.

There is a growing demand for more LEADER funding to be made available in a number of areas, including County Kerry. In this regard, I was very pleased to announce recently that an additional €5 million will be shared between the LAGs that are most advanced in delivering the LEADER programme. The LAGs to benefit from this additional funding will be determined based on their level of project approvals and their level of project expenditure on 20 September 2019. The successful LAGs will be announced shortly thereafter.

Public Sector Staff Recruitment

Ceisteanna (2624)

Seán Haughey

Ceist:

2624. Deputy Seán Haughey asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development when he expects the post of head of compliance and enforcement at the Charities Regulator to be filled; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33310/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Rural)

The post of Head of Compliance and Enforcement in the Charities Regulator was advertised through the Public Appointments Service on 28 June 2019 with a closing date of 18 July 2019. I expect the Regulator will be in a position to make an appointment in the near future.

LEADER Programmes Data

Ceisteanna (2625)

Fiona O'Loughlin

Ceist:

2625. Deputy Fiona O'Loughlin asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development the status of progress on the roll-out of the new LEADER programme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33340/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Rural)

LEADER is a multi-annual programme with a budget of €250 million over the period 2014-2020. €220 million of this budget is allocated to Local Action Groups (LAGs) who deliver the programme and approve projects at local level. The balance of €30 million is provided for thematic projects which are approved at national level.

The current LEADER programme effectively became operational in the second half of 2016, following the signing of Funding Agreements with most of the LAGs. Projects must be selected under the programme by the end of 2020, while payments will continue in 2021 and later years as necessary.

Significant progress is now being made in the delivery of the LEADER programme. To date, 2,170 project applications have been approved by the LAGs for funding of over €77.5 million. A further 357 projects seeking funding of €26.9 million are at earlier stages of the approvals process.

In addition, almost 100 projects have been approved at national level, outside of the core budget available to the LAGs, for Food and Co-operation projects.

The level of progress on the LEADER programme varies between each Local Action Group. However, on average, the LAGs have indicated that over 80% of their available project budget will be allocated by the end of 2019. This will place the LAGs in a strong position to allocate the full amount of funding available before the end of 2020.

Total expenditure on the programme since it commenced is in excess of €55.9 million with €25.5 million of this paid to project promoters. Project payments will increase significantly over the next year or so as project promoters complete approved works and submit claims for payment.

In fact, there is a growing demand for more LEADER funding to be made available in some areas. In this regard, I was very pleased to announce recently that an additional €5 million will be shared between the LAGs that are most advanced in delivering the LEADER programme. This is further evidence of the huge progress made since my Department introduced a range of administrative improvements to the programme in 2017 and 2018.

CLÁR Programme

Ceisteanna (2626)

Eamon Scanlon

Ceist:

2626. Deputy Eamon Scanlon asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development when approvals will be given for the 2019 CLÁR scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33428/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Rural)

I launched the 2019 CLÁR programme on 28th February last, with applications invited under three separate measures:

Measure 1: Support for "School and Community Safety Measures",

Measure 2: Support for "Play Areas and Multi-Use Games Areas", and

Measure 3: Funding for "Community Wellbeing Support".

Community Wellbeing Support covers the provision of equipment and vehicles for voluntary first-response organisations, as well as the provision of specialist vehicles to bring people to cancer-care centres and other community-care services. The measure may also provide funding for sensory gardens.

The closing date for the 2019 CLÁR programme was the 30th April, and almost 500 applications were received by my Department.

To date, I have announced the following funding under CLÁR 2019:

- Measure 3a: First Response Support - €567,000 for 30 groups.

- Measure 3b: Mobility and Cancer Care Transport - €890,632 for 20 groups.

Details of successful projects can be found at: https://www.gov.ie/en/collection/f9051a-clar-funding-2019/.

I hope to make further funding announcements in respect of the 2019 CLÁR programme shortly.

Action Plan for Rural Development Implementation

Ceisteanna (2627)

Niamh Smyth

Ceist:

2627. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development the progress made regarding the implementation of the action plan for rural development to date in counties Cavan and Monaghan; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33597/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Rural)

The Action Plan for Rural Development was published in January 2017 as a whole-of-Government initiative to support the economic and social progress of rural Ireland. Progress Reports on the implementation of the Plan are published twice yearly on the Gov.ie website. The latest Progress Report, published on 1 July, shows that measures being progressed through the Action Plan continue to deliver positive outcomes for rural Ireland.

Measures in the Plan are delivered across a range of Government Departments and agencies. Each Government Department is best placed to identify the level of spending on a county-by-county basis in respect of its own particular policy remit. My Department supports rural Ireland through the delivery of programmes such as LEADER, the Town and Village Renewal Scheme, CLÁR, the Local Improvement Scheme, and community-based schemes such as the Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme (SICAP).

In 2018, over €3.6 million was provided by my Department for projects in Co. Cavan, while funding of €2.5 million was provided for projects in Co. Monaghan.

The progress made under the Action Plan for Rural Development has been further built on through the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund, which will provide €1 billion in investment in rural Ireland over the period 2019-2027. To date, €86 million has been allocated from the Fund to 84 projects. These are ambitious, collaborative projects which will have a transformational effect on towns, villages and rural areas across Ireland.

Under the first call for applications announced in late 2018, a total of 5 projects were specifically approved for funding in Co. Cavan, and 9 projects in Co. Monaghan. I announced a further call for proposals last April, with a deadline for applications of 6 August.

CLÁR Programme

Ceisteanna (2628)

Niamh Smyth

Ceist:

2628. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development the status of the review of the CLÁR programme; and if additional measures will be considered to be permissible under the programme. [33599/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Rural)

The CLÁR programme provides funding for small infrastructural projects in rural areas which have suffered high levels of population decline.

The areas originally selected for inclusion in the programme in 2001 were those which suffered the greatest population decline from 1926 to 1996. The Cooley Peninsula was also included on the basis of the serious difficulties caused in that area by Foot and Mouth disease. The average population loss in the original CLÁR regions over the period 1926 to 1996 was 50%.

In 2006, an analysis of the 2002 Census data was carried out by the NIRSA Institute (National Institute for Regional and Spatial Analysis) at Maynooth University and the programme was extended to include areas with an average population loss of 35% between 1926 and 2002.

As the Deputy will be aware, the CLÁR programme was closed for new applications in 2010. However, I re-launched the programme in the second half of 2016, using as a base-line the areas identified in the work carried out by NIRSA in 2006.

The type of projects which have been supported since 2016 include safety measures around schools and community facilities, the provision of play areas, supports for First Responders in emergency situations, and a measure to provide vehicles to transport people to Cancer Care and respite centres.

I have initiated a review of the CLÁR programme which will examine CLÁR areas by reference to the 2016 Census of Population data. It will also consider whether there are any other factors that should be taken into account in designating areas for eligibility under CLÁR in the future.

The review process began in November last with a targeted consultation meeting with a number of experts recognised for their background in rural development issues. Following on from this, my officials have been in contact with NIRSA with regard to carrying out a detailed analysis of the most recent Census data to further inform the review process.

I envisage that a wider stakeholder consultation will also take place before the review is fully complete. Once completed, the review will help to inform the design of future CLÁR programmes and any additional measures which might be included.

Broadband Service Provision

Ceisteanna (2629)

Niamh Smyth

Ceist:

2629. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development the discussions he has had with the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment with regard to broadband provision in rural areas of counties Cavan and Monaghan; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33601/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Rural)

As Minister of State with responsibility for Community Development, Natural Resources and Digital Development, I work across both the Department of Rural and Community Development and the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment.

I also chair the Mobile Phone and Broadband Taskforce which was established in 2016 to identify and overcome obstacles to mobile phone and broadband services. The Taskforce is a cross-Government initiative comprising senior officials from a number of Departments and State bodies. Progress Reports on the work of the Taskforce are published on the Gov.ie portal.

I am keenly aware of the importance of access to high-speed, high-quality broadband services in rural areas and I engage regularly with my Ministerial colleagues in both Departments in finding ways to remove barriers to the roll out of telecommunications infrastructure.

The Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment has overall policy responsibility for the National Broadband Plan. However, the Department of Rural and Community Development works closely with that Department and with Local Authorities to help prepare rural communities for the roll out of high-speed broadband.

Under the National Broadband Plan, approximately 17,000 premises in Cavan and approximately 16,000 premises in Monaghan will be provided with high-speed broadband. In addition, a number of sites have been identified in each of these counties to serve as Broadband Connection Points (BCP). These sites will be connected within twelve months of the NBP contract being signed and will provide free high-speed broadband to rural communities at approximately 300 designated locations nationwide.

The Department of Rural and Community Development also supports preparations for the roll out of the National Broadband Plan through the network of Broadband Officers located in each Local Authority. The Broadband Officers are co-funded by the Department and provide a vital point of contact for industry and the public regarding telecoms issues.

The Broadband Officers are also leading on the development of Digital Strategies for each Local Authority. These Digital Strategies will enable communities to make full use of digital technology in their daily lives, and will be particularly beneficial when the Broadband Plan is rolled out.

LEADER Programmes Expenditure

Ceisteanna (2630)

Niamh Smyth

Ceist:

2630. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development the amount spent to date under the 2014-2020 LEADER programme by project and administration costs; the amount expended to date on project costs by each local action group, LAG, in counties Cavan and Monaghan; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33602/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Rural)

LEADER is a multi-annual programme with a budget of €250 million over the period 2014-2020. €220 million of this budget is allocated to Local Action Groups (LAGs) who deliver the programme and approve projects at local level. The balance of €30 million is provided for thematic projects which are approved at national level.

Total expenditure on the 2014-2020 LEADER Programme since it commenced is in excess of €55.9 million. This includes:

- €1.5 million for the cost of developing the Local Action Group strategies (preparatory support)

- €28.9 million for expenditure incurred by the LAGs in administering the programme and supporting the project development process (administration and animation costs);

- €25.5 million for individual LEADER projects funded through the core budget available to each LAG.

Table 1 below provides a breakdown of the core project payments made to date by the LAGs in counties Cavan and Monaghan since the commencement of the programme. The figures do not include any payments made under the thematic schemes referred to above.

Table 1: Total LEADER Project payments by LAGs in Cavan and Monaghan as at 15 July 2019

Local Action Group

Project Payments

Name

Value

Cavan

€1,050,138

Monaghan

€779,385

CLÁR Programme

Ceisteanna (2631)

Niamh Smyth

Ceist:

2631. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development when successful applications under 2019 CLÁR funding will be announced; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33640/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Rural)

I launched the 2019 CLÁR programme on 28 February last, with applications invited under three separate measures:

Measure 1: Support for "School and Community Safety Measures",

Measure 2: Support for "Play Areas and Multi-Use Games Areas", and

Measure 3: Funding for "Community Wellbeing Support".

Community Wellbeing Support covers the provision of equipment and vehicles for voluntary first-response organisations, as well as the provision of specialist vehicles to bring people to cancer-care centres and other community-care services. The measure may also provide funding for sensory gardens.

The closing date for the 2019 CLÁR programme was the 30th April, and almost 500 applications were received by my Department.

To date, I have announced the following funding under CLÁR 2019:

- Measure 3a: First Response Support - €567,000 for 30 groups.

- Measure 3b: Mobility and Cancer Care Transport - €890,632 for 20 groups.

Details of successful projects can be found at: https://www.gov.ie/en/collection/f9051a-clar-funding-2019/.

I hope to make further funding announcements in respect of the 2019 CLÁR programme shortly.

CLÁR Programme

Ceisteanna (2632)

Niamh Smyth

Ceist:

2632. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development the status of an application by a school (details supplied); when a decision will be made on the application; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33646/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Rural)

I can confirm that an application for funding has been received in respect of the school referred to by the Deputy.

Almost 500 applications were received by my Department under the programme in question, across three different funding measures. My officials have been assessing all of the applications received on a measure-by-measure basis. Final decisions on the measure relevant to the application in question will be made shortly, having regard to the overall level of demand and funding available for the programme as a whole.

Community Services Programme

Ceisteanna (2633)

Dara Calleary

Ceist:

2633. Deputy Dara Calleary asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development the timeline for the review of the CSP; the steps involved in the review; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33662/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Rural)

My Department recently commenced a review of the Community Services Programme (CSP). The review was considered necessary as the programme had not been formally reviewed since 2006.

The review will consider how the CSP fits with overall Government priorities, as well as with my Department’s other community programmes and policy objectives. It will also help inform decisions on the future shape and structure of the programme.

As an initial step, my Department consulted with key stakeholders and CSP supported organisations on the scope of the review late last year. An independent reviewer, Indecon Consultants, was subsequently appointed and commenced work on the review in March 2019.

Work to date has included extensive consultation with key stakeholders, including management and staff in CSP supported organisations. Work will continue on the review over the next two months, and I expect an initial draft report to be submitted for my consideration before the end of September.

Community Services Programme Administration

Ceisteanna (2634)

Dara Calleary

Ceist:

2634. Deputy Dara Calleary asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development the reason CSP cannot support persons over 66 years of age in a post; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33663/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Rural)

The Community Services Programme (CSP) supports more than 400 community organisations to provide local services through a social enterprise model, with some €46m available under the programme in 2019.

CSP funding is provided as a fixed annual contribution to the cost of a manager and an agreed number of full-time equivalent positions. This contribution must be co-funded by the organisations concerned from other sources, for example, from income received from the public use of their facilities and services.

However, the CSP does not contribute to the cost of employing individuals once they reach 66 years of age and become eligible for the State Pension. In the context of limited CSP resources, the programme must focus on creating sustainable jobs for those most distant from the labour market, particularly for those who are long term unemployed and from specific target groups, rather than contributing indefinitely to the cost of employing persons beyond pensionable age.

That said, the internal operations of CSP supported organisations, including general employment issues relating to CSP supported posts, are solely matters for the boards of those organisations to manage as the respective employers. Accordingly, supported organisations may continue to employ persons once they reach 66 years, but the funds to do so must come from a non-CSP source.

My Department is currently undertaking a review of the CSP. While there are no immediate plans to change programme criteria pending completion of the review, the review will inform decisions on the future shape of the programme, including inter alia programme funding arrangements and age related eligibility criteria.

The review should be completed in early Autumn 2019.

Community Services Programme Administration

Ceisteanna (2635)

Dara Calleary

Ceist:

2635. Deputy Dara Calleary asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development if it is permissible for a CSP company to use profits of one activity within the organisation to subsidise another activity that provides a vital community service; if not, his views on whether this is in keeping with the spirit of the CSP in cases in which as a consequence the vital community service has to be curtailed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33664/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Rural)

The Community Services Programme (CSP) supports more than 400 community organisations to provide local services through a social enterprise model. Funding is provided as a fixed annual contribution to the cost of a manager and an agreed number of full-time equivalent positions, with more than €46m available under the programme in 2019.

CSP supported organisations are generally required to generate income from their activities, for example, from the public use of their facilities and services. While they must maintain a minimum reserve of 13 weeks operating costs, and meet minimum wage obligations for CSP supported posts, they may reinvest any surplus income generated from their activities to support the organisation's mission and objectives.

This may involve using profits from one activity to subsidise another. Moreover, organisations may reinvest profits in non-CSP activity, as long as such activity doesn't contribute to commercial displacement of another local business. Generally, the use of surplus generated income is, first and foremost, a matter for the management and board of each organisation.

LEADER Programmes Administration

Ceisteanna (2636)

Niamh Smyth

Ceist:

2636. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development the reason the allocation and processing of applications for LEADER funding is perceived as being slow; if there are delays in this regard; if so, his plans to address same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33762/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Rural)

The LEADER programme is very much driven at a local level by the Local Action Groups (LAGs) who administer the programme and approve projects in their respective areas.

The LEADER programme effectively commenced in the second half of 2016, following the signing of Funding Agreements with most of the LAGs. While there were some concerns regarding the administrative requirements at the start of the programme, over the course of the last two years, I have implemented a series of actions to simplify the delivery of LEADER. These actions were developed in consultation with the LAGs themselves.

I have previously highlighted the package of 31 actions I introduced to improve the programme. This package included:

1. A significant reduction in the number of checks that are carried out on project applications;

2. A standardised application form to assist applicants and streamline the approval process; and,

3. Revised and clarified procurement arrangements.

In addition, I have continued to make a number of additional changes, over and above the package of 31 actions, to further simplify the project approvals process.

The impact of these changes is clear to see. 2,170 LEADER projects have been approved for funding of €77.5 million since the programme commenced. This year alone, over 620 projects have already been approved. Almost 100 other Food and Co-operation projects have also been approved at national level, outside of the core budget available to the LAGs. The amount of LEADER funding approved in 2018 was also more than double the level approved in 2017.

While my Department will continue to examine ways to further enhance the programme, I am satisfied that changes already made have substantially improved the process for LEADER applicants.

LEADER Programmes Funding

Ceisteanna (2637)

Robert Troy

Ceist:

2637. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development the status of the allocation of LEADER funding in Westmeath; the amount allocated to groups within the county to date; and the level of funding that remains to be allocated. [33931/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Rural)

The LEADER programme is administered in Co. Westmeath by the Westmeath Local Community Development Committee, which acts as the Local Action Group (LAG) in partnership with Westmeath County Council and Westmeath Community Development Ltd.

The total amount of funding allocated to the county for the duration of the 2014-2020 LEADER programme is in excess of €7.3 million. This includes project funding, the administration costs of the LAG, and costs incurred by the LAG in supporting the development of projects.

The project allocation for Co. Westmeath is €5,563,495. To date, 60 projects have been approved for funding of €1,897,266 representing 34% of the available budget. A further 6 project applications requesting €438,761 are currently at various stages of the approvals process.

The remaining project budget of over €3 million is available to be allocated to projects up to the end of 2020. The LAG in Westmeath has indicated that at least 60% of its project budget will be allocated by the end of 2019, with the remainder being allocated in 2020.

Total project expenditure to date on LEADER projects in Co. Westmeath amounts to €402,401. However, the level of expenditure will increase in the coming months as approved works are completed and claims for payment are submitted by the project promoters.

CLÁR Programme

Ceisteanna (2638)

Michael Moynihan

Ceist:

2638. Deputy Michael Moynihan asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development the status of an application for CLÁR funding for traffic calming measures at a school (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33977/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Rural)

I can confirm that an application has been received under the CLÁR programme in respect of the school referred to by the Deputy.

Almost 500 applications were received by my Department under the programme, across three different funding measures. My officials have been assessing all of the applications received on a measure-by-measure basis. I hope to be in a position to announce the successful projects in respect of the measure relevant to the application in question in the coming weeks.

Action Plan for Rural Development Implementation

Ceisteanna (2639)

Pat the Cope Gallagher

Ceist:

2639. Deputy Pat The Cope Gallagher asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development the progress made regarding the implementation of the action plan for rural development to date within County Donegal; the estimated spend within the county from the plan; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34171/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Rural)

The Action Plan for Rural Development was published in January 2017 as a whole-of-Government initiative to support the economic and social progress of rural Ireland. Progress Reports on the implementation of the Plan are published twice yearly on the Gov.ie website. The latest Progress Report, published on 1 July, shows that measures being progressed through the Action Plan continue to deliver positive outcomes for rural Ireland.

Measures in the Plan are delivered across a range of Government Departments and agencies. Each Government Department is best placed to identify the level of spending on a county-by-county basis in respect of its own particular policy remit. My Department supports rural Ireland through the delivery of programmes such as LEADER, the Town and Village Renewal Scheme, CLÁR, the Local Improvement Scheme, and community based schemes such as the Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme (SICAP).

In 2018, over €7 million was provided by my Department for projects in Co. Donegal. This included, amongst other funding, €1.6 million under LEADER, €1.3 million under the Local Improvement Scheme, and €1.5 million under SICAP.

The progress made under the Action Plan for Rural Development has been further built on through the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund, which will provide €1 billion in investment in rural Ireland over the period 2019-2027. To date, €86 million has been allocated from the Fund to 84 projects. These are ambitious, collaborative projects which will have a transformational effect on towns, villages and rural areas across Ireland.

Under the first call for applications announced in late 2018, a total of 12 projects were specifically approved for funding in County Donegal. I announced a further call for proposals last April, with a deadline for applications of 6 August.

Departmental Expenditure

Ceisteanna (2640)

Marc MacSharry

Ceist:

2640. Deputy Marc MacSharry asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development the status of capital projects within the remit of his Department; the amount spent on each project to date; and the anticipated completion date. [34208/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Rural)

My Department does not have direct responsibility for procurement or delivery of any capital project; the majority of capital funding is routed through Local Authorities and other bodies.

€28.1 million has been expended on capital projects to the end of June 2019. I have set out details of this expenditure across the Department’s capital subheads in the table provided.

At the start of each year my Department profiles expected spend for that year, and the capital expenditure to date represents 92% of the profiled expenditure at this point in the year.

As is usual for capital programmes, the majority of claims for payment will be made in the final quarter of the year as projects progress to completion and capital grant approvals are drawn down.

This is particularly true for the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund, one of four funds established under Project Ireland 2040 , for which projects were only recently approved following due diligence .

The Fund seeks to support ambitious and strategic projects which have the potential to transform rural economies and communities. The Government has committed €1 billion over 10 years to the Fund and €315 million is allocated to the Fund for the period 2019-2022.

Continued close monitoring of expenditure is a matter of significant priority so as to ensure full use of our allocated resources, and that value for money is delivered in respect of our funding. I intend to ensure that the resources made available to my Department this year are fully utilised, delivering benefits for all communities and for rural Ireland.

The following table provides the status of capital expenditure funded through my Department to 30 June 2019.

Department of Rural and Community Development, Capital Expenditure, to 30 June 2019

Amount

-

YTD - Actual

V42 – GROSS (€’000s)

28,061

A - REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT & REGIONAL AFFAIRS

27,235

A.2 - ADMINISTRATION - NON PAY

69

A.4 - NATIONAL RURAL DEVELOPMENT SCHEMES

4,797

A.5 - LEADER - RURAL ECONOMY SUB PROGRAMME

16,617

A.7 - TOWN AND VILLAGE REGENERATION

3,242

A.8 – REGIONAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

4

A.9. - LOCAL IMPROVEMENT SCHEMES

2,083

A10 - RURAL REGENERATION & DEVELOPMENT FUND

423

B - COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

826

B.2 - ADMINISTRATION - NON PAY

49

B.3 –SUPPORTS FOR COMMUNITY & VOLUNTARY SECTOR

0

B.6- SUPPORTS FOR DISADVANTAGED COMMUNITES

9

B.7- DORMANT ACCOUNT MEASURES

140

B.8- PROGRAMME FOR PEACE AND RECONCILLIATION

0

B.10 - LIBRARY DEVELOPMENT AND ARCHIVE SERVICE

628

B.11 - COMMUNITY ENHANCEMENT PROGRAMME

0

Departmental Advertising Expenditure

Ceisteanna (2641)

Shane Cassells

Ceist:

2641. Deputy Shane Cassells asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development the expenditure by his Department on social media advertising and promotional material within the past year in tabular form. [34619/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Rural)

The details requested by the Deputy are set out in the following table.

Expenditure details (July 2018 - Date)

Amount

Date

Social Media Promotion - 'Rural Regeneration and Development Fund' - Project Ireland 2040 Video

€6,297.93

November 2018

Social Media Promotion -'Rural Opportunity' - Project Ireland 2040 Video

€4,078.79

June 2019

Total

€10,376.72