The provision of funding and supports for the Community and Voluntary Sector is a key function of my Department. In 2019, funding of €12.687 million has been allocated for supports to the sector.
In 2018, €14.974 million was invested by my Department in the sector. This represented an increase of €2.28 million over the original allocation and reflects my commitment to extending supports to the sector where funding is made available.
In 2009, the Community and Voluntary Sector was supported by funding of €15.8 million in current funding by the former Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs.
The pre-Budget submission in question outlined a proposal for increases in allocations to my Department of five per cent across a wide range of programmes totalling €6.7 million. These include the Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme, Community Enhancement Programme, Community Services Programme, measures under the Dormant Accounts Fund, and supports for Local Community Development Committees and Public Participation Networks.
My Department’s allocations for 2020 will be considered and agreed as part of the forthcoming Estimates process. As part of this process, the Department will always seek to secure funding to build community resilience and then work to direct this money where it is needed most.
I have also recently launched Sustainable, Inclusive and Empowered Communities: a Five-Year Strategy to Support the Community and Voluntary sector in Ireland 2019-2024. This Strategy sets a general direction of travel for Government policy in relation to community development, local development and the community and voluntary sector and will be implemented in partnership with sectoral stakeholders over the next five years and beyond.