Minister Humphreys announces details of new €15 million Community Centre Fund

·         Grants of between €10,000 and €300,000 available for upgrade and refurbishment works to Community Centres

The Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, has today announced a new €15 million capital fund to support community groups for the upgrade and refurbishment of Community Centres.  This is an investment in both rural and urban communities across the Country.

The Community Centres Investment Fund will support community groups with the upgrade and development of their Community Centre facilities.

Funding will be available under 3 Categories with grants of between €10k and €300K available:

Category 1: Small scale projects/improvements to facilities – €10,000 to €25,000.

Category 2: Larger scale projects – €25,001 to €100,000.

Category 3: Major projects- €100,001 to €300,000.

Applications under Category 2 and 3 must include a minimum contribution of 5% of the total project costs from the applicants own funds.

Funding is available for capital works such as: –

·         Works to improve communal facilities such as kitchen and toilet facilities

·         Energy retrofitting, new windows / doors / heating systems

·         Upgrades to lighting systems and stage areas

·         Works to address safety concerns, including as a result of fire safety audits

·         Works to improve disability access

·         Improvements to assist in providing additional or better services to the community such as Meals for the Elderly & youth facilities

·         Works to develop Community Centres as Social Hubs through the development of Community Cinemas, Youth Hubs and Community Libraries

·         Essential maintenance works, repairs to roof, etc

There will be a two-stage application process with applicants asked to register their organisation in advance of the formal application process going live.

Registration will open on Tuesday 3rd May 2022, applicants need to register as ‘users’ on the portal in advance of the application process opening on Tuesday 7th June 2022. The closing date for applications is Thursday 14th July 2022.

The Department will be hosting a number of online information events in May and June 2022 to provide guidance in relation to the application process and details will be released in due course.

Guidelines and a sample application form are now available at www.gov.ie/drcd.

Community Groups are urged to familiarise themselves with the application process and criteria well in advance of submitting their application.

Announcing the funding today, Minister Humphreys said:

Community Centres are at the heart of every community in Ireland, rural and urban.

“We need places for people to meet up, to play sport and engage in all sorts of activities whether it is meals for the elderly, indoor soccer or basketball, or providing a space for the local dramatic society to perform.

“This new fund is about supporting them to carry out vital upgrade works as well as enhancing the services and amenities they can provide to persons of all ages in their community.

“I am encouraging all community groups to look at this fund and think about how they can use it to improve their own local parish hall or community centre. Do you need new windows or doors? Does the stage or sound system need to be upgraded? Could you look at developing space for a Youth Hub or Community Cinema?

“Community Centres are all about bringing people together in a locality. As Minister, I want to ensure Community Centres continue to be at the heart of our local parishes, towns and villages.

 

Also welcoming the Funding, Minister of State Joe O’Brien TD said:

The newly announced Community Centres Investment Fund, will play a large part in supporting the development of Community Centres throughout the country both in rural and urban areas, allowing people to engage with their communities and the supports available. That is why I am committed to supporting the Community & Voluntary sector to maximise its impact in communities throughout Ireland.”

 

ENDS

Contact:

The Department of Rural and Community Development Press Office

076-1006843 / 087-1734633

Press.office@drcd.gov.ie

Notes to editor:

 

·         The Community Centres Investment Fund will provide grants for larger projects, over €10k up to a maximum contribution of €300k towards capital costs.

 

·          Category 1: Small scale projects/improvements to facilities €10,000 – €25,000. 

·          Category 2: Larger scale projects €25,001 to €100,000. 

·          Category 3: Major projects €100,001 to €300,000.

 

·         Applications under Category 2 and 3 must include a minimum contribution of 5% of the total project costs from the applicants own funds.

 

·         The fund will provide grants of between €10k and €300k to include works such as: 

 

·          Energy retrofitting – projects that reduce an organisation’s carbon footprint. 

·          Works to address safety concerns, including as a result of fire safety audits.

·          Works to improve disability access.

·          Works to improve communal facilities such as kitchen and toilet facilities.

·          Improvements to assist provide additional or better services to the community

·          Essential maintenance works.

·         Fund guidelines and a sample application form are available to view at www.gov.ie/drcd

 

·         Information sessions will be ran in the coming weeks to provide guidance in relation to the applications process and details will be released in due course.

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