This major initiative, the first of its kind, is designed to specifically support communities across the country that have welcomed and are hosting families and citizens from Ukraine and other countries.
Among the projects that will be supported under the fund include:
- The refurbishment of local sports clubs and facilities.
- The upgrade of community facilities such as play areas, walkways, parks and community gardens.
- The purchase of equipment to benefit local clubs, festivals, music and arts organisations.
- The enhancement of school or parish facilities that are open to the wider community after hours or on weekends.
- Transport infrastructure such as community vehicles and bus shelters.
The €50 million has been allocated across all local authorities based on the number of new arrivals located there.
The funding will be drawn down over 2023 and 2024.
Projects will be delivered by the local authorities in conjunction with community organisations.
The Fund aims to support the development of facilities that will be used in the future by all members of the community.
Announcing the €50 million Fund, Minister Humphreys said, “I am delighted to announce the details of this major new investment for communities across Ireland. The funding now being made available will support communities in developing projects ranging from sports clubs, playgrounds and walkways, to community groups in areas such as arts, drama and music. Communities the length and breadth of the country have really stepped up to the plate in recent weeks, opening their homes and facilities to people very much in need.”
“This Fund is recognising the vital role our communities are playing as we continue to deal with many challenges, not least the war in Ukraine. I would like to encourage communities to engage directly with their local authorities in the coming weeks to ensure that high quality projects can be delivered, benefitting their towns and villages for years to come.”
“The projects that will be supported are those that will benefit all members of our communities, young and old. It could be funding to develop a playground or park, or perhaps a community centre. Or it could be used in terms of transport infrastructure such as community vehicles or bus shelters. Sports clubs or groups that champion the arts and music could also benefit – I want our local authorities to be as flexible and work closely with my Department to deliver high quality projects.”
Minister of State O’Brien continued, “this announcement will empower communities across the country in developing projects that directly address local needs. Funding is available for a wide range of projects, such as the purchase of community vehicles and the enhancement of local clubs’ facilities and amenities. I am confident that this new initiative will deliver tangible benefits to communities all across Ireland.”
The Department has published the full details of the scheme (including funding allocations) online here, and applications are now being sought from local authorities on the basis of engagement with local communities and clear targeting of proposed projects to areas with the highest level of need.