Written answers

Thursday, 22 February 2024

Department of Rural and Community Development

Rural Schemes

Photo of Pádraig O'SullivanPádraig O'Sullivan (Cork North Central, Fianna Fail)
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304. To ask the Minister for Rural and Community Development when funding for the local improvement scheme will be announced; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [8537/24]

Photo of Heather HumphreysHeather Humphreys (Cavan-Monaghan, Fine Gael)
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The Local Improvement Scheme, or LIS, supports the improvement of rural roads and laneways that are not usually maintained by local authorities. As part of Our Rural Future, the Government is committed to ensuring that the LIS is funded into the future. The scheme makes an essential contribution to connectivity in rural Ireland. I am also committed to improving connectivity for rural residents – whether it be access to homes, farms or outdoor amenities.

The scheme was re-introduced in 2017 following several years with no dedicated funding. Between 2017 and 2023, my Department has allocated almost €130 million towards improvement works on over 4,000 non-public roads and lanes. These works have benefitted over 20,000 landowners and residents in rural Ireland.

From 2017 to 2023, a total of €10.1 million has been allocated to Cork County Council to fund works carried out on over 200 roads. This is the third-highest allocation nationally. In 2023, over €2.7m was allocated to Cork for repair and maintenance works on 47 roads.

Last year alone, almost €30 million in funding was allocated to local authorities across the country - a record investment under the Scheme. A total of €13.55 million has been allocated to LIS in 2024, an increase of €1 million from the initial funding last year. My Department is currently finalising the scheme details for the coming year and I expect to be in a position to announce it shortly.

I will closely monitor the expenditure patterns in my Department, and should savings emerge, I will consider allocating additional funding to the scheme.


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