Child and Family Agency Staff

Ceisteanna (536)

Thomas P. Broughan

Ceist:

536. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the number of vacancies by role in each of the Tusla areas nationwide; the timeframe for filling the vacancies; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [49780/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Children)

I wish to advise that my officials have asked Tusla to respond directly to the Deputy on this matter.

Childcare Services Provision

Ceisteanna (537)

John Lahart

Ceist:

537. Deputy John Lahart asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the reason a facility (details supplied) was only awarded 30 weeks access and inclusion level 7 additional assistance for a child attending for 38 weeks; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [49813/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Children)

Thank you for your query regarding an application for support through the Access and Inclusion Model (AIM). As you are aware, AIM is a model of supports designed to ensure that children with a disability can access the Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) (free pre-school) programme. The key objective of AIM is to support early learning and care providers to deliver an inclusive pre-school experience, ensuring that children with a disability can meaningfully participate in the ECCE programme, thereby reaping the benefits of quality pre-school education.

I understand that your query relates specifically to an application for Additional Assistance – AIM Level 7. All applications take time, which is why it is advisable to apply well in advance of the child commencing on the ECCE Programme, in order to allow for an observation visit of the child in the early learning and care setting to be carried out. In this instance the application for supports through AIM was received on 10th July 2019. An observation visit was conducted on 3rd September 2019, once the child had started attending the setting, by a Better Start Early Years Specialist. Following review and appraisal of the recommendation by the Early Years Specialist, Pobal communicated the final decision to the early learning and care provider on 18th October 2019.

In relation to the granting of 30 weeks funding, this has been allocated as per the AIM programme rules which state that backdating of AIM Level 7 payments is not permitted. The reason backdating of AIM Level 7 payments is not permitted is because AIM provides a range of supports, both universal and targeted. In many cases the universal supports provided through AIM, which include staff training, are sufficient to enable the full participation of a child with a disability. In relation to targeted supports, having reviewed the needs of a child in the context of the early learning and care setting, an Early Years Specialist may provide advice on strategies to support the child's inclusion. In some cases, the Early Years Specialist may recommend funding for additional assistance, either to allow for an additional staff member or to enable a reduction in the adult to child ratio.

Funding for an additional staff member is therefore only one of a range of supports provided under AIM, and may not be the most appropriate support. Where an application for AIM support is submitted, an Early Years Specialist determines the most appropriate type of support, depending on the needs of the child in the context of the early learning and care setting. It would therefore not be appropriate for an additional staff member to be recruited until funding for this purpose is approved.

Since the September 2019 programme call opened on May 1st, the average response time from submission of an Access and Inclusion Profile to conducting an observation visit for a child or children in the ECCE programme - which is necessary to determine the level of need - has been 26 days. This is within the expected timeline as per the Access and Inclusion Profile guidance, which states that, following a review of the information provided, a member of the Better Start Access and Inclusion team will contact the pre-school within 4-6 weeks of submission.

Once an observation visit has taken place, an Early Years Specialist within Better Start completes a report, which goes through a review and appraisal process. On average the time from observation to final decision is 23 days. Therefore, in total, from observation visit to decision it takes on average 49 days to process an AIM application. In this case, approvals were given within these timeframes. Payment for the AIM Level 7 – Additional Assistance was awarded from the Monday after the approval, and was awarded for the remainder of the preschool year.

Counselling Services Provision

A referred reply was forwarded to the Deputy under Standing Order 42A

Ceisteanna (538)

John McGuinness

Ceist:

538. Deputy John McGuinness asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs her plans to continue to fund the low-cost counselling service at a facility (details supplied): if a grant of €9,280 for 2019 will be approved; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [49866/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Children)

Tusla, the Child and Family Agency funds a range of services in the community and voluntary sector to provide services to children and families, including counselling services such as those provided at the facility referred to by the Deputy.

I have requested Tusla to respond directly to the Deputy in relation to the allocation of funding for 2019 to the facility referred to by the Deputy.

A referred reply was forwarded to the Deputy under Standing Order 42A

Departmental Reports

A deferred reply was forwarded to the Deputy under Standing Order 42A

Ceisteanna (539)

Shane Cassells

Ceist:

539. Deputy Shane Cassells asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the number of external consultant reports commissioned by her Department in each year from March 2011 to 2018 and to date in 2019; the cost of each report; the company involved; and the title and publication date by report in tabular form. [49898/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Children)

My Department is currently compiling the information requested and will revert to the Deputy as soon as possible.

A deferred reply was forwarded to the Deputy under Standing Order 42A

Childcare Services Funding

Ceisteanna (540)

Anne Rabbitte

Ceist:

540. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the subsidy payable to a person (details supplied) under both the CCSP and national childcare scheme; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [50051/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Children)

The National Childcare Scheme (NCS) opened on the 20th November 2019. The National Childcare Scheme is designed to improve the accessibility and affordability of quality childcare for families in Ireland. Through the National Childcare Scheme and a range of other measures, I am committed to changing Ireland’s childcare system from one of the most expensive in the world to one of the very best. In designing the National Childcare Scheme, extensive research and consultations have been carried out to ensure that this goal is achieved and that the Scheme can help as many families as possible.

Subsidy payable under the NCS can only be assessed following an application from the family concerned. This application can be made through ncs.gov.ie.

Parents can also avail of the subsidy calculator on the ncs.gov.ie website to help them determine their level of subsidy under the National Childcare Scheme.

In summary, the Scheme provides both universal and income-related subsidies. Children older than 24 weeks, but not yet eligible for the Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) programme, are entitled to a universal subsidy of 50c an hour for up to 40 hours. The universal subsidy is not means-tested. An income-assessed subsidy is also available for children between 24 weeks and 15 years of age, which is means-tested.

The current targeted childcare subvention schemes are being streamlined and replaced by the National Childcare Scheme. The Community Childcare Subvention Plus (CCSP) programme closed to new applications on 15th November, and the Training and Education Childcare (TEC) schemes will close to new applications from 14th February 2020.

By replacing the legacy schemes, the Scheme will increase the number of families who can avail of subsidised childcare, and remove many of the restrictive eligibility requirements of the existing support programmes, whereby a parent must be in receipt of certain Social Protection payments or a Medical Card in order to receive targeted supports. In this way, it aims to combat the poverty traps which may exist within the existing schemes, and to appropriately incentivise employment and education / training for parents.

Should the family concerned require further assistance in assessing their subsidy, the parent support centre is open 9 to 6 Monday to Saturday and can be contacted at 01 906 8530.

Childcare Services Administration

Ceisteanna (541)

Mary Lou McDonald

Ceist:

541. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the number of early years service providers that are due to re-register by the end of December 2019; and if Tusla has adequate resources to ensure this process is completed in a timely manner. [50088/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Children)

As the matters to which the Deputy refers are an operational matter for Tusla, I have requested Tusla to respond to the Deputy directly within 10 working days.

A referred reply was forwarded to the Deputy under Standing Order 42A

Child Custody and Access

Ceisteanna (542)

Danny Healy-Rae

Ceist:

542. Deputy Danny Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if she will address a matter regarding supervised visits (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [50168/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Children)

I wish to advise the Deputy that it would not be appropriate for me to comment on individual cases. I have referred the matter to Tusla, the Child and Family Agency and asked them to reply directly to the Deputy, outlining the policies and procedures used by Tusla in the situation as described.

A referred reply was forwarded to the Deputy under Standing Order 42A

Childcare Services Administration

A referred reply was forwarded to the Deputy under Standing Order 42A

Ceisteanna (543)

Anne Rabbitte

Ceist:

543. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the number of completed applications received by Tusla from early years services re-registering their service in 2019; the number fully re-registered; the number that submitted incomplete applications; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [50207/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Children)

As the matters to which the Deputy refers are an operational matter for Tusla, I have requested Tusla to respond to the Deputy directly within 10 working days.

A referred reply was forwarded to the Deputy under Standing Order 42A

Childcare Services Administration

Ceisteanna (544)

Anne Rabbitte

Ceist:

544. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the reason Tusla in its letter to each registered early years provider on 18 November 2019 issued by a person (details supplied) noted that providers are experiencing difficulties in finding competent persons to complete fire risk assessments for those that require same; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [50208/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Children)

As the matters to which the Deputy refers are an operational matter for Tusla, I have requested Tusla to respond to the Deputy directly within 10 working days.

A referred reply was forwarded to the Deputy under Standing Order 42A

Childcare Services Administration

A referred reply was forwarded to the Deputy under Standing Order 42A

Ceisteanna (545)

Anne Rabbitte

Ceist:

545. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the reason Tusla used the definition of a competent person in its guide to fire and planning requirements for early years services re-registration and change of circumstances process document as it is defined in the code of practice for inspecting and certifying buildings and works, as opposed to the definition outlined in the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [50209/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Children)

As the matters to which the Deputy refers are an operational matter for Tusla, I have requested Tusla to respond to the Deputy directly within 10 working days.

A referred reply was forwarded to the Deputy under Standing Order 42A

Departmental Funding

A deferred reply was forwarded to the Deputy under Standing Order 42A

Ceisteanna (546)

Peter Burke

Ceist:

546. Deputy Peter Burke asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the funding allocated to an area (details supplied) and its surrounds in each of the years 2011 to 2019; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [50248/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Children)

The information requested by the Deputy is quite specific and not normally held at that level in my Department. I have requested the relevant organisations involved to collate the information and I will revert again to the Deputy in due course.

A deferred reply was forwarded to the Deputy under Standing Order 42A

Childcare Services Funding

Ceisteanna (547)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

547. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if AIM support funding awarded to a school (details supplied) can be backdated allowing for 38 weeks of payment in line with the number of weeks in the preschool year; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [50262/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Children)

Thank you for your query regarding AIM support funding awarded to an early learning and care setting. As you are aware, the Access and Inclusion Model (AIM) is a model of supports designed to ensure that children with a disability can access the Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) (free pre-school) programme. The key objective of AIM is to support early learning and care providers to deliver an inclusive pre-school experience, ensuring that children with a disability can meaningfully participate in the ECCE programme, thereby reaping the benefits of quality pre-school education.

AIM provides a range of supports, both universal and targeted. In many cases, the universal supports provided through AIM, which include staff training, are sufficient to enable the full participation of a child with a disability. Alternatively, an Early Years Specialist may provide advice on strategies to support the child's inclusion. In some cases, the Early Years Specialist may recommend funding for additional assistance, either to allow for an additional staff member or to enable a reduction in the adult to child ratio.

Funding for an additional staff member is therefore only one of a range of supports provided under AIM, and may not be the most appropriate support. Where an application for AIM support is submitted, an Early Years Specialist determines the most appropriate type of support, depending on the needs of the child in the context of the early learning and care setting. It would therefore not be appropriate for an additional staff member to be recruited until funding for this purpose is approved.

In order to minimise any delays in the provision of supports, early learning and care providers are encouraged to submit applications for support (Access and Inclusion Profile) as early as possible. For the programme year that began in September 2019, the window for applications opened on 1st May 2019.

Since the September 2019 programme call opened on May 1st, the average response time from submission of an Access and Inclusion Profile to conducting an observation visit for a child or children in the ECCE programme - which is necessary to determine the level of need - has been 26 days. (Please note in order to carry out an observation visit, the child must be present in the setting.) This is within the expected timeline as per the Access and Inclusion Profile guidance, which states that, following a review of the information provided, a member of the Better Start Access and Inclusion team will contact the pre-school within 4-6 weeks of submission.

Once an observation visit has taken place, an Early Years Specialist within Better Start completes a report, which goes through a review and appraisal process. On average the time from observation to final decision is 23 days. Therefore, in total, from observation visit to decision it takes on average 49 days to process an AIM application.

In cases where a child has additionally complex needs or complex medical needs such that he or she could not reasonably be expected to attend the preschool service for an observation visit without AIM targeted supports already being in place, the observation visit may be delayed until after the supports are in place at the discretion of the Better Start Early Years Specialist Service. In such situations, targeted supports can be approved prior to an observation visit, but approval by the Better Start Early Years Specialist Service is required, and payment in relation to targeted supports cannot be backdated to a date before the date on which approval is given.

In cases where a child has been allocated AIM Level 7 support in the first year of the ECCE Programme, and the child continues the ECCE Programme in the same early learning and care setting, provided there are no changes e.g. to the adult-child ratio in the room, approval for the second year of funding may be granted without a second visit to the setting. (An observation visit will have taken place in the first year of the child's participation.)

Legislative Measures

Ceisteanna (548)

Barry Cowen

Ceist:

548. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the number of Bills sponsored by her Department that have been enacted since November 2013, in tabular form. [50313/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Children)

The Department of Children and Youth Affairs has responsibility for 8 Acts that have been enacted since November 2013. These are listed in tabular form below.

Number

Act Name

Enacted on

No. 11 of 2018

Childcare Support Act 2018

02-Jul-18

No. 19 of 2017

Adoption (Amendment) Act 2017

19-Jul-17

No. 45 of 2015

Child Care (Amendment) Act 2015

10-Dec-15

No. 36 of 2015

Children First Act 2015

19-Nov-15

No. 30 of 2015

Children (Amendment) Act 2015

27-Jul-15

No. C31 of 2012

Thirty-first Amendment of the Constitution Act 2012

28-Apr-15

No. 44 of 2013

Adoption (Amendment) Act 2013

20-Dec-13

No. 40 of 2013

Child and Family Agency Act 2013

15-Dec-13

Departmental Funding

A deferred reply was forwarded to the Deput

under Standing Order 42A

Ceisteanna (549, 552)

Peter Burke

Ceist:

549. Deputy Peter Burke asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development the funding allocated to a town (details supplied) in each of the years 2011 to 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [50239/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Peter Burke

Ceist:

552. Deputy Peter Burke asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development the funding allocated to a town (details supplied) since the inception of his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [50238/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Rural)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 549 and 552 together.

My Department is currently working on the Deputy's request. Any material identified will be forwarded to the Deputy when that process is complete.

A deferred reply was forwarded to the Deputy under Standing Order 42A

Town and Village Renewal Scheme

Ceisteanna (550)

Fiona O'Loughlin

Ceist:

550. Deputy Fiona O'Loughlin asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development the amount of funding allocated to County Kildare in each year since the commencement of the town and village renewal scheme; the amount granted to other counties in the same period; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49774/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Rural)

The Town and Village Renewal Scheme forms part of the Government's Project Ireland 2040 Rural Regeneration Programme and is part of a package of measures to rejuvenate rural towns and villages throughout Ireland.

The Town and Village Renewal Scheme was launched in the second half of 2016, and since then, over 830 projects have been approved for funding of €68 million, including 156 projects that were approved for funding of €15 million under the 2019 scheme.

Details of grant funding allocated to Co Kildare since 2016 under the Town and Village Renewal Scheme are provided below:

Year

Grant funding approved

2016

€380,000

2017

€416,403

2018

€520,000

2019

€312,164

Total

€1,628,567

Full details of all the projects funded in Co. Kildare and in other counties since 2016 are available on the Gov.ie website through the following link: https://www.gov.ie/en/collection/0012f5-town-and-village-renewal-scheme/.

Departmental Reports

Question No. 552 answered with Question No. 549.

Ceisteanna (551)

Shane Cassells

Ceist:

551. Deputy Shane Cassells asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development the number of external consultant reports commissioned by his Department in each year from March 2011 to 2018 and to date in 2019; the cost of each report; the company involved; and the title and publication date by report in tabular form. [49910/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Rural)

My Department was established on 19 July 2017. I have listed in the table below the external consultants commissioned to undertake work on behalf of my Department from that date.

In most cases the reports/material produced were for internal or stakeholder use only, and not for external publication with the exceptions of the report on a review of the Community Services Programme, the User Handbook for Public Participation Networks, and the Local Digital Strategies which will be published by each individual Local Authority.

Title

Company

Cost €

Date Published

1

Provision of Technical Support for the development of Shared Telecoms Infrastructure by Local Authorities

4SITE

€19,767.00 (Incl. VAT)

Final technical drawings were received 9 November 2018. 4Site documents were for internal use only and were not published externally.

2

Provision of Cost Analysis Report for the development of Shared Telecoms Infrastructure by Local Authorities

4SITE

€4176.00 (Incl. VAT)

Cost analysis piece was received by the Department in January 2019. Intended for use by Broadband Officers in Local Authorities.

3

Provision of Development of Local Digital Strategies for all Local Authorities

INDECON International Economic Consultants

€149,246.97 (Incl. VAT)

Final guidelines for development of strategies issued on 25 September 2018. Local Digital Strategies are being prepared by each individual local authority and will be externally published.

4

Provision of Information Sessions for all participating Local Authorities on developing Local Digital Strategies

INDECON International Economic Consultants

€37,604.79 (Incl. VAT)

Sessions are currently being rolled out to participating local authorities with a view to having all sessions delivered before end Q3 2019. Information sessions for Local Authorities and are not published externally.

5

Preparation of guidance & delivery of training for local authorities & industry on environmental screening / appropriate assessment of works in relation to rollout of telecommunications infrastructure, primarily related to the rollout the National Broadband Plan. The Environmental screening piece will also be only for internal/local authority use and will not be published externally.

RPS Group

€79, 089 (Incl. VAT)

Due Q3 2019

Will not be published externally

6

Internal report to assist in developing our HR strategy

Athrú Consulting

€9,840 (Incl. VAT)

An internal report to assist in developing our HR strategy at an estimated cost of €15,000 work completed January 2019. Report not published externally.

7

Project Management Assistance KOSI Corporation Ltd

KOSI Corporation

€12,822.75 (Incl. vat)

Project Management Assistance, a report was not published externally.

8

Review of the Community Services Programme

Indecon International Economic Consultants

€112,422 (Incl. vat)

Review ongoing; to be published in 2020

9

External investigator for confidential HR staffcase

Accrux

€1,211.68

(Incl. vat)

External workplace investigation resulting in areport expected in due course

10

Provision of Review of Dormant Account fundingsources

Deloitte

119,457.60 (Incl. VAT)

Being drafted due to be finalised in Q1 2020.

11

User Handbook for Public Participation Networks

Social Justice Ireland

€12,000 (services provided by SJI not liable toVAT)

Due to be published in 2020

Question No. 552 answered with Question No. 549.

Legislative Measures

Ceisteanna (553)

Barry Cowen

Ceist:

553. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development the number of Bills sponsored by his Department that have been enacted since November 2013, in tabular form. [50325/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Rural)

My Department was established on 19 July 2017. I can confirm no Bills have been sponsored or enacted since the Department was established.

LEADER Programmes Funding

Ceisteanna (554)

Éamon Ó Cuív

Ceist:

554. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development the amount available to each LAG for projects under the LEADER programme; the amount approved for projects to date by LAG; the amount expended; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [50398/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Rural)

LEADER is a multi-annual programme with a total budget of €250 million over the period 2014-2020. €225 million of this funding has been allocated to the Local Action Groups (LAGs) throughout the country who deliver the LEADER programme. This allocation includes both core project funding and administration and animation costs for the LAGs.

The remaining €25 million in the programme is available for thematic schemes to be delivered at a national level and is allocated as projects are approved.

Table 1 below provides a breakdown of the amount allocated to projects for each LAG under the LEADER programme 2014-2020, the value of projects approved to date, and the amount paid to date in respect of projects. The figures do not include expenditure or approvals under national-level thematic schemes which operate on a competitive bid basis.

Total project expenditure on the current LEADER programme since it commenced, effectively in 2016, amounts to over €40 million. The level of project activity under the programme has increased significantly since the start of 2018 and 2,547 projects have now been approved for funding of over €95.3 million.

A further 355 project applications, requesting almost €30.7 million in funding, are at various stages in the approval process. Project expenditure will increase significantly as these projects are implemented and payments are drawn down.

Table 1: Total LEADER Project Allocations, Approvals and Payments by LAG as of 3 December 2019.

Local Action Group

Core Project Allocation

Value of Approved Projects

Project Payments to date

Carlow

€4,797,811

€2,672,800

€1,517,662

Cavan

€6,409,583

€3,723,016

€2,069,249

Clare

€6,609,050

€4,364,995

€1,413,934

Cork North

€3,805,071

€2,596,508

€950,714

Cork South

€2,839,017

€1,084,290

€504,996

Cork West

€3,628,104

€1,603,015

€540,069

Donegal

€9,628,589

€6,182,279

€3,458,456

Dublin Rural

€4,728,612

€1,798,544

€742,469

Galway East

€5,728,456

€2,526,058

€889,452

Galway West

€3,406,692

€1,491,899

€449,358

Kerry

€7,648,558

€6,127,994

€2,775,881

Kildare

€3,899,564

€1,567,445

€476,217

Kilkenny

€5,791,285

€2,209,460

€937,460

Laois

€5,314,767

€1,990,618

€1,007,502

Leitrim

€4,498,167

€3,098,852

€1,113,277

Limerick

€6,942,584

€5,321,091

€2,086,560

Longford

€5,703,537

€2,429,127

€850,063

Louth

€4,551,902

€2,335,840

€922,467

Mayo

€8,248,645

€5,932,205

€2,542,483

Meath

€5,139,855

€3,188,617

€536,852

Monaghan

€5,708,155

€2,777,528

€1,300,585

Offaly

€6,001,669

€3,609,534

€2,218,523

Roscommon

€6,586,752

€4,843,459

€1,308,789

Sligo

€5,726,736

€3,390,045

€1,453,487

Tipperary

€7,564,073

€5,474,662

€2,452,718

Waterford

€5,566,670

€4,243,465

€2,311,326

Westmeath

€5,563,394

€2,751,965

€622,187

Wexford

€7,569,678

€3,901,122

€2,032,760

Wicklow

€4,743,790

€2,161,027

€713,524

Grand Total

€164,350,764

€95,397,458

€40,199,022

Rural Regeneration and Development Fund Data

Ceisteanna (555)

Éamon Ó Cuív

Ceist:

555. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development the projects by type approved under the rural regeneration and development fund to date; the lead agency in each case; the amount sanctioned in each case; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [50401/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Rural)

The Rural Regeneration and Development 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.

The first call for applications to the Fund closed in September 2018. There was a large response to the first call, with 280 applications received under Categories 1 and 2.

Category 1 related to projects with all necessary planning and other consents in place and which were ready to proceed, while Category 2 projects were those which required further development to become ready for Category 1 status.

On foot of the first call, 38 successful Category 1 projects and 46 Category 2 projects were announced, with funding of €86m provided from the Fund to support projects worth €117m.

The second call for Category 1 applications for the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund closed on 6 August 2019. There was an excellent response from across the country and my Department received 69 applications for funding. I announced the successful projects from the second call on the 6th November 2019. 26 projects were approved for funding of €62 million to support projects costing €95 million.

The tables below lists the Category 1 and Category 2 projects which were allocated funding under the two calls to date. The table contained in the following link also sets out the sector the project best fits within, though it should be noted that projects can be relevant to multiple sectors.

Project