Dáil Éireann - Volume 445 - 11 October, 1994
Written Answers. - Hotel Renovation Grant Scheme.
Mr. Yates Mr. Yates
358. Mr. Yates asked the Minister for Tourism and Trade the plans, if any, he has to remove the minimum threshold of qualifying expenditure in the current grant scheme for the renovation of hotels; if he will ensure that the threshold of £250,000 minimum renovation expenditure is reduced or removed in view of the fact that this fund is specifically for assisting small hoteliers; if he will clarify the justification for this; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [869/94]
Mr. Deenihan Mr. Deenihan
363. Mr. Deenihan asked the Minister for Tourism and Trade the amount of money available under the Operational Programme for Tourism, 1994 to 1999, for accommodation improvement in small family-owned hotels; the conditions under which they will qualify; and the minimum and maximum amount of grant in each case. [957/94]
Minister for Tourism and Trade (Mr. McCreevy) Charlie McCreevy
Minister for Tourism and Trade (Mr. McCreevy): I propose to take Questions Nos. 358 and 363 together.
The Operational Programme for Tourism, 1994-1999, provides a budget of no more than £7 million in European Regional Development Fund aid for the selective hotel accommodation improvement scheme.
The programme indicates that in very limited circumstances, support will be available for certain improvements to existing small and medium-sized hotels with a current capacity of up to 100 bedrooms and graded up to and including three star. Assistance will be considered in exceptional cases:
—where it is clear that improvements are necessary to bring the premises  up to modern international standards in a new or developing tourist area;
—where accommodation needs cannot otherwise be met; and
—where the proprietors are able to provide satisfactory evidence that they will cater for new tourist business to Ireland.
The main metropolitan areas of Dublin city and county as well as the urban areas of Cork, Galway, Limerick and Waterford are explicitly excluded from assistance under this provision as are any works eligible for tax incentives in all special designated areas. The overall investment on eligible works under this heading must be a minimum of £250,000, and a maximum grant aid rate of 25 per cent will apply.
I have no plans to change these criteria. In line with the provisions of the Community Support Framework, 1994 to 1999, it is envisaged that applications for grant assistance of less than £50,000 will be eligible for assistance under other EU-supported programmes.
Dáil Éireann 445 Written Answers. Hotel Renovation Grant Scheme.