Written answers

Thursday, 16 December 2021

Department of Rural and Community Development

Community Development Projects

Photo of Éamon Ó CuívÉamon Ó Cuív (Galway West, Fianna Fail)
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643. To ask the Minister for Rural and Community Development the extra funding provided for in budget 2022 for increasing the number of participants and projects under the community services programme; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [62600/21]

Photo of Heather HumphreysHeather Humphreys (Cavan-Monaghan, Fine Gael)
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My Department's Community Services Programme (CSP) currently supports over 420 community organisations to provide local services through a social enterprise model. The 2021 budget allocation for the programme was increased by €2m and this level of funding of c. €49 million will be maintained for 2022.

Qualifying organisations must be social enterprises capable of generating income from their activities in order to meet the full salary costs of the supported posts, for example, from income received from the public use of facilities and services.

In 2020, an independent review of the Community Services Programmewas undertakenby IndeconInternational Economic Consultants, on behalf of my Department. The final report was published on 30 September 2020 and was accompanied by a High Level Action Plan outlining the timeline for the phased implementation for the restructuring of the programme.

My Department and Pobal, who administer the programme on behalf of my Department, are currently working on the restructuring of the programme in conjunction with a Consultative Group, whose membership is secured from key sectoral stakeholders including CSP supported organisations, national organisations, community representatives and social enterprise representatives.

Pending the transition to the new restructured programme, the scheme is closed to new applications through the expression of interest process. However, there are a number of organisations currently under consideration, and if approved, they will be supported under the programme from January to April 2022 onwards and the associated costs will be met from within our budget allocation for 2022. It is also anticipated that the Programme will open calls to address identified gaps in service delivery during 2022.


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