Nearly 3,000 community projects to receive support from €12.5m fund

Barnardos to receive €120,000 for new community facility under enhancement fund

Nearly 3,000 community projects across Ireland have been allocated funding from a €12.5 million fund announced by the Department of Rural and Community Development last year.

The Community Enhancement Programme, which is focused on developing facilities in disadvantaged communities and opened for applications in May 2018, will see financial support being allocated to 2,808 projects including childcare groups, playgrounds, recreational groups, sports grounds, landscaping and support for the elderly.

While some funding will be dedicated to smaller projects such as lawn mowers and IT equipment, other grants will see communities receive significant funding for the renovation of community centres, improvements in town parks and disability transport services.

Barnardos children’s charity in Dublin will be awarded the highest grant under the programme, receiving €120,000 to upgrade and repurpose an unused premises into a community facility.


Energy efficiency

In Fingal, the Corduff Sports centre will receive more than €84,000 to upgrade the centre and its energy efficiency while the Balbriggan Football Club in Fingal will receive €60,000 for the development of a new community facility.

In the southeast, Carlow Older Person's forum will receive more than €64,900 for the "development of space and purchase of portacabin" while the Bagenalstown Family Resource Centre, also in Carlow, will receive more than €64,000 to upgrade playground facilities for children with disabilities.

In the southwest, Bantry's Tidy Towns project in Co Cork has been awarded €60,000 for the installation of a "multi-use games area" while the Kilcully Scouting Ireland Campsite will receive €30,000 to upgrade a shower block at the campsite.

Smaller grants

Funding on the west coast includes €55,000 for the west Clare community and education centre and another €55,000 for the re-development of the Newmarket on Fergus Community Hall, also in Co Clare.

Smaller grants include €70 for the Shamrock Men's Shed in Wexford to purchase a "circular vacuum for saw"; €150 for a new lawn mover at the Surleen Community Development Association in South Dublin; €200 for a new first aid kit and first aid training at the Limerick Hillwalking Community Radio Group and €203 for the upgrading of wiring and lighting at a grotto in Wexford.

Minister for Community Development Michael Ring said even a small investment could go a long way in greatly benefiting local community projects. The funding had been allocated “in a way that means that those communities who need it most, whether in cities, towns or rural areas, will benefit”.

Sorcha Pollak

Sorcha Pollak

Sorcha Pollak is an Irish Times reporter and cohost of the In the News podcast