Thursday, 16 November 2023
Department of Rural and Community Development
260. To ask the Minister for Rural and Community Development the funding that her Department can provide for the development and up-keep of public allotment spaces, and the way in which that funding can be accessed; if she plays any role in assisting groups in obtaining suitable plots for allotments and, if not, if she can indicate persons or public bodies that can provide assistance. [50459/23]
I understand that the provision and allocation of allotments is a matter for each individual local authority and interested individuals should contact their local authority in the first instance. In addition, my Department provides a number of funding streams which may be used to support the development of allotments.
The CLÁR programme provides funding for small-scale projects in designated rural areas that have experienced significant levels of de-population over a defined period. I launched the 2023 programme in March this year. Funding of almost €8 million has been allocated for the 2023 CLÁR programme which is an increase of €0.5m on 2022.
Measure 1 of the programme will support the development of community facilities and amenities, including community gardens and allotments. The assessment process is well advanced in relation to measure 1 of the programme. I expect to be in a position to make a decision on the successful measure 1 projects in the coming weeks.
The 2023 Town and Village Renewal Scheme was launched on 21 July 2023 with an overall fund of €15 million. Projects to develop town or village centre plazas, public outdoor dining spaces, parks, green spaces (including allotments and community gardens) and recreational spaces or amenities in town centres will be supported under the 2023 scheme. Successful projects will be announced in Quarter 1 of 2024.
Support under the LEADER programme is provided under a broad range of themes, including the Rural Infrastructure & Social Inclusion theme in the 2023-2027 programme. Funding for public allotments may be available under these themes. In order for a project to be eligible for LEADER funding, it must be compatible with the actions outlined in the approved Local Development Strategy in the sub-regional area concerned, and it must comply with the Operating Rules and EU Regulations in place for the programme.
Prospective applicants should, in the first instance, contact their relevant LAG or Implementing Partner to discuss the eligibility of the project and the funding that may be available.
The 2023-2027 LEADER Programme is due to commence shortly and the list of all Local Action Groups, their Implementing Partners and their contact details will be available on my Department’s website.