Thursday, 26 May 2022
Department of Rural and Community Development
432. To ask the Minister for Rural and Community Development if her Department is providing funding for an organisation (details supplied) on an annual basis; her views on the importance of the work carried by the organisation; her plans that to expand the support for the organisation by her Department or through the Dormant Accounts Fund; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [26997/22]
My Department has provided a range of supports which both Men's and Women’s Sheds have availed of, depending on the works being completed.
For example, In 2018 the Community Enhancement Programme provided capital funding for community groups which included €0.5m that was ring-fenced for Men's Sheds and again in 2019, €0.5m was ring-fenced under the programme for both Men's & Women's Sheds. Typical uses included the purchase of equipment and small repairs or renovations.
In 2020, the Community Enhancement Programme received total funding of €7.2m, including €5m under the Government's July stimulus package for repairs and upgrades to community centres and community buildings. Under this programme, 124 men’s sheds projects benefited and received funding to the value of €207,836.
In 2021, the Community Enhancement Programme provided funding of €4.5m for small capital grants to community groups to enhance their facilities and towards the re-opening of facilities. Men's sheds along with other community groups could apply to this funding programme. To date, 68 men’s sheds have received funding to the value of €126,804 from the 2021 Community Enhancement Programme.
The 2021 CEP is now closed and it is hoped to run another CEP later in 2022, however, details of this programme are not yet confirmed. I would advise the local groups to check www.gov.ie/drcd on a regular basis for updates and to also make contact with their Local Community Development Committees for further details on the programme.
In November 2021, the €9m Community Activities Fund, under the Community Enhancement Programme was launched to support community groups impacted by COVID-19. This fund provided funding to 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. Men’s Sheds were free to apply for this funding via their LCDCs. The Community Activities Fund is now closed to applicants. Details of successful projects from each LCDC will be available on the Department’s website at www.gov.ie/drcd.
The Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme (SICAP) has provided supports to over 200 Men’s Sheds since 2018, with small grants totaling over €98,000 awarded to 116 Men’s Sheds. This support is still is available from SICAP.
My Department also funded the Irish Men’s Sheds Association under the COVID-19 Stability Funding in 2020. They distributed €70,424 equally among their member sheds to support the organisation to continue to deliver services despite the challenges brought by COVID-19. The association did not apply for funding in 2021.
Funding for Men’s Sheds may also be available through the €70 million LEADER Transitional Programme. This programme, which will cover the period 2021-2022, came into effect on the 1 April 2021 for new project applications.
The Scheme to Support National Organisations (SSNO) provides multi-annual funding towards core costs of national, community and voluntary organisations. The current scheme runs from 1st July 2019 to 30th June 2022. The Irish Men’s Sheds Association was allocated €270,000 over the three year period of the scheme.