Thursday, 15 July 2021
Department of Rural and Community Development
486. To ask the Minister for Rural and Community Development the funding allocated to date through the various schemes controlled by her Department by county; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [38963/21]
487. To ask the Minister for Rural and Community Development the funding allocated to date through the various schemes controlled by her Department in County Kildare; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [38964/21]
I propose to take Questions Nos. 486 and 487 together.
My Department was established in 2017 and funds a range of programmes and schemes to assist in rural and community development which are available to eligible community groups and organisations throughout the country.
My Department was allocated €341 million in the 2021 Revised Estimates, this ensures that we are in a position to further assist communities seeking funding and other supports for important local activities and projects.
The amount allocated by my Department for urban and rural development and renewal purposes in the past three years to-date is, €133 million in 2017, €251 million in 2018, €315 million in 2019, €314 million in 2020, and €209 million to date in 2021.
Kildare was allocated, €2.9 million in 2017, €4.2 million in 2018, €10.9 million in 2019, €7.6 million in 2020 and €2.2 million to date in 2021.
This funding includes the Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme (SICAP), the Community Services Programme, the CLÁR Programme, the Community Enhancement Programme, the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund and funding for public libraries across the country.
Details of funding allocations under specific schemes provided by my Department are available online at www.gov.ie/en/organisation/department-of-rural-and-community-development/
My Department is also responsible for a number of national policies that provide, for both urban and rural areas nationwide, an integrated and strategic way of delivering supports, programmes and schemes, coordinating measures to address imbalances or lack of opportunity, making a real difference to people’s lives. These include the National Policy on Social Enterprise, and the Strategy to Support the Community & Voluntary Sector in Ireland.
The new national rural development policy Our Rural Future, which I launched in March, sets out a blueprint for the development of rural Ireland over the next five years. The policy is supported by 150 commitments across Government, which will address the challenges facing communities and deliver new opportunities for people living in rural areas.
Delivery of the measures contained in the policy will help rural Ireland to recover from the impacts of COVID-19, enable long-term development of rural areas, and create more resilient rural economies and communities for the future. The policy highlights the interdependence of rural and urban areas, and the integral role of rural Ireland in contributing to balanced regional development in terms of jobs and investment.
The policy will be underpinned by investment across Government in areas such as the roll out of high-speed broadband, remote working facilities, job creation, town centre regeneration, community development, improvements in regional and local roads, new cycling and walking infrastructure, expanded rural transport services, funding for tourism, culture and heritage projects, and a just transition to a climate-neutral society.
Ongoing dialogue over the course of the five year policy timeframe will ensure that rural communities are at the heart of designing and delivering responses that meet local needs.
I am confident that the funding supports and policies provided by my Department are delivering, and will continue to deliver, tangible benefits for both urban and rural communities, supporting economic development, and enabling the local and community development sectors to continue to provide valuable much needed services and supports to all communities throughout the country.