Thursday, 15 July 2021
Ceisteanna ar Sonraíodh Uain Dóibh - Priority Questions
I thank Deputy Cairns for raising this issue. As she said, playgrounds are an important resource with positive impacts for communities. Funding provided by the community enhancement programme provides small grants to community groups to enhance facilities, including playgrounds, in disadvantaged areas. Funding is allocated by my Department to each local authority area, and the local community development committee, with support from their local authority, administers the funding in that area. In 2021, total funding of €4.5 million is available, with €156,299 of this allocated to the Cork County Council area, for example.
Additionally, funding for playgrounds may be available through the €70 million LEADER transitional programme, which I launched earlier this year. This funding supports locally-led projects, which focus on delivering on the key themes of Our Rural Future, the Government's ambitious plan for rural Ireland, such as building capacity and empowering local communities, supporting remote working, developing our outdoor amenities and creating jobs in rural areas. The LEADER programme is delivered through local action groups, LAGs, in each of the 28 LEADER sub-regional areas around the country.
Finally, the CLÁR programme, with an allocation of €5.5 million in funding in 2021, provides funding for small-scale projects in designated rural areas. Measure 2 of the 2021 CLÁR programme supports outdoor community recreation facilities, including the enhancement of existing, and-or the development of, new accessible outdoor community recreation facilities, including playgrounds, skateboard parks and multi-use games areas, MUGAs. The closing date for receipt of applications for 2021 has now passed. The assessment of the applications received is ongoing and I expect to make an announcement on the approved projects in the coming weeks.