Written answers

Wednesday, 24 November 2021

Department of Rural and Community Development

Men's Sheds

Photo of Robert TroyRobert Troy (Longford-Westmeath, Fianna Fail)
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241. To ask the Minister for Rural and Community Development the supports available for a newly-formed charity (details supplied); and if there is a specific start up grant for same. [57677/21]

Photo of Joe O'BrienJoe O'Brien (Dublin Fingal, Green Party)
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The emergence of the Men’s Sheds in recent years has been a very positive development for communities across Ireland. They provide a safe, comfortable and inclusive environment where people of all ages can share skills and work on meaningful projects and connect with their communities.

My Department is providing a range of supports which both Men's and Women’s Sheds can avail of, depending on the works being completed.

For example, the Community Enhancement Programme(CEP) provides small capital grants to community groups to enhance facilities.I launched a new €9m fund Community Activities Fund, under the Community Enhancement Programmein November 2021 and this fund continues into 2022 to support community groups impacted by COVID-19.

This fund will support groups, particularly in disadvantaged areas, with their running/operating costs such as utility or insurance bills, as well as with improvements to their facilities. Groups will also be able to use the funding to carry out necessary repairs and maintenance as well as refurbishment work or purchase equipment.

The fund is administered in the same way as the Community Enhancement Programme. Grant applications are assessed in each local authority area by the Local Community Development Committees (LCDC).I would encourage the charity referenced by the Deputy to engage with the LCDC in their area for further details.

I am also responsible for the Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme (SICAP) whichhas provided supports to over 200 Men’s Sheds since 2018, with small grants totalling over €98,000 awarded to 116 Men’s Sheds.This support, usually in the form of training and capacity building, will continue to be available throughout the current iteration of SICAP which runs until 2023. The charity referenced by the Deputy should engage with the Local Development Company in their area if they require further details regarding this programme.

More generally, I would encourage the group to stay in touch with the LCDC in their area so that they become aware of funding opportunities, from my own Department and across Government, as they become available.


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