Written answers

Thursday, 31 March 2022

Department of Rural and Community Development

Community Development Projects

Photo of Fergus O'DowdFergus O'Dowd (Louth, Fine Gael)
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479. To ask the Minister for Rural and Community Development if there are plans or proposed locations for pubs as community hubs in County Louth or east County Meath following the announcement of the pilot programme on 25 March 2022; when she expects to review the pilot programme and possibly implement same across a number of further locations and counties; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [17116/22]

Photo of Heather HumphreysHeather Humphreys (Cavan-Monaghan, Fine Gael)
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In line with a commitment in Our Rural Future I am pleased to confirm that funding of €50,000 has been allocated to the Vintners Federation of Ireland (VFI) to support a “Pubs as Community Hubs” initiative.

"Pubs as Community Hubs" will explore how the rural pub can be utilised as a space for community activities and services, which may not be currently available locally.

Funded under the CLÁR innovation programme, this initiative is being rolled out on a pilot basis. The process of selecting five rural pubs in Cavan, Donegal, Clare, Cork and Kerry is now underway. The VFI will agree activities with the respective proprietors and submit funding recommendation to my Department for approval.

The aim is to assist rural pubs to diversify during quiet trading times to the benefit of local communities. A rural pub, may for instance, act as a community cinema, become a meeting space for local community groups, or host a book club or arts and craft classes. It might set aside space to promote remote working, show case local artisan products or highlight local tourism and heritage places of interest.

A review of the pilot initiative is expected to be undertaken in 2023, which will inform future decisions in relation to the initiative.


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