Dáil Éireann - Volume 630 - 31 January, 2007

Written Answers. - Departmental Funding.

Mr. Wall asked the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs the reason funding has been removed from a group (details supplied) in Dublin 17; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1848/07]

  Mr. N. Ahern: In line with the strategy of focusing funding to the Community Development Projects themselves, with a consequent reduction in core funding to training and support agencies, my Department’s contract with the group in question ceased on 31 December 2006. The decision not to renew the contract was communicated to the group in September 2005.

Mr. Wall asked the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs if there is funding available under a grant scheme or agency under the remit of his Department to financially assist a project (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1849/07]

  Mr. N. Ahern: The Programme of Grants for Locally-Based Community and Voluntary Organisations, which is operated by my Department, includes a scheme under which funding towards the pur[913] chase of equipment is provided to eligible groups who are addressing disadvantage in their communities. This is an annual Programme of Grants and the closing date for applications in respect of the purchase of equipment under the 2006 Programme was 25 September last. My Department is now dealing with the almost 1,200 applications received under that Programme.

Details of the 2007 Programme will be announced in the coming months, at which stage application forms and detailed guidelines, including the criteria against which each application will be assessed, will be available on my Department’s website at www.pobail.ie. It will then be open to the group in question to consider making an application for funding in light of the information regarding eligibility and assessment criteria.

Mr. N. O’Keeffe asked the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs the grant schemes available through his Department for funding projects in respect of a boy scout hall. [2107/07]

  Éamon Ó Cuív: My Department provides funding for projects through a number of schemes and programmes including — Community & Voluntary Grants, the LEADER and CLÁR Programmes and Gaeltacht Schemes. Funding is also available for projects, such as the one that the Deputy refers to, through the Dormant Accounts Fund.

Each of the schemes and grant programmes operated by my Department and by the Dormant Accounts Disbursement Board are governed by rules and eligibility criteria which projects have to meet in order to qualify for funding. The information attached below may be of assistance to the Deputy.

A Programme of Grants for Locally Based Community & Voluntary Organisations consists of three Schemes: the Scheme of Refurbishment Grants; the Scheme of Equipment Grants; and the Scheme of Training, Education and Research Grants. The Scheme of Refurbishment Grants supports the activities of local voluntary and community groups by way of grants for the refurbishment of premises used by such groups. Where disadvantage in the community is being addressed, up to 90% of the cost will be met, subject to a maximum grant of €40,000. Where the application is not from a project which addresses disadvantage but evidence of need has been clearly identified, up to 60% of the cost will be met, subject to a maximum grant of €40,000.

As such, refurbishment grants are available in respect of existing premises used by locally based organisations. It is not clear, therefore, whether this Scheme would be suitable to the case referred to by the Deputy. Application forms and detailed guidelines, including the criteria against which applications are assessed are available on [914] my Department’s website at www.pobail.ie. It is open to the group in question to consider making an application for funding in light of the information regarding eligibility and the assessment criteria.

Alternatively, it may be appropriate for the project in question to apply to their local LEADER group for funding under the LEADER programme. If they were to qualify for funding under that Programme, and if they are located within a CLÁR area, some funding could also be made available from the CLÁR Programme. It should be pointed out however, that the LEADER programme is operated in accordance with National and EU operating rules and regulations and any projects funded under the programme must meet the criteria outlined in the programmes rules.

If the particular project that the Deputy refers to is within a Gaeltacht area, an application could be made under our Aiseanna Caitheamh Aimsire Scheme, and the project in question would be considered for funding.

Among the funding measures approved by Government for assistance from the Dormant Accounts Fund in 2006 is one which provides small-scale equipment grants and facilities improvement grants to local youth groups and clubs. The maximum grant available to a group/club under this measure is €5,000. This funding measure is being administered through local Vocational Education Committees and the process of evaluating applications received is almost completed. In this regard, it is anticipated that the list of successful applicants will be known shortly.

The Deputy may access any further information on the grant schemes and programmes operated by my Department on my Department’s website at www.pobail.ie.