Thursday, 3 June 2021
Department of Rural and Community Development
Rural Recreation Policy
357. To ask the Minister for Rural and Community Development if it is possible to combine funding paid for projects under the outdoor recreation scheme measures 1, 2 and 3 with work carried out by the rural social scheme, community employment and Tús schemes in order to maximise the effect of these projects and to keep costs to a minimum; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [30379/21]
Under the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme, funding is provided through Local Authorities, Local Development Companies and State Bodies to complete outdoor recreation projects, including trails, cycleways, blueways, bridleways and amenities near our lakes and rivers
My Department provides funding of up to 90% of the total cost of a project and the remaining 10% is made up of matched funding by the applicant. The matched funding can be provided in a number of different forms including a cash contribution or 'in-kind' contributions such as voluntary labour.
Labour provided through the Rural Social Scheme and Tús is an important resource for local communities. However, it cannot be charged to the projects funded under the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme as it is not considered to be voluntary labour and the cost is already funded by the Department of Social Protection.
That said, the participants under the Rural Social Scheme or Tús can carry out works that contribute to the development of recreational infrastructure once they are not charged to the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme and the necessary permissions and insurances are in place.