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€15 Million Community Centre Fund Launched

Grants of between €10,000 and €300,000 available for upgrade and refurbishment works to Community Centres

Waterford Fine Gael Senator John Cummins has welcomed the announcement of a new €15 million capital fund to support community groups to upgrade and refurbish Community Centres nationally.

Senator Cummins said “The announcement by my party colleague Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys is both timely and welcome. This new fund will provide mucg needed investment in rural and urban communities across the country and I would like to see as many local Waterford communities benefit from the fund which is why I want to draw community groups attention to the need to register for the portal when it opens on Tuesday 3rd May.

The new Community Centres Investment Fund will support community groups with the upgrade and development of their Community Centre facilities. Funding will be available under 3 Categories with grants of between €10k and €300K available:

  • Category 1: Small scale projects/improvements to facilities - €10,000 to €25,000.

  • Category 2: Larger scale projects - €25,001 to €100,000.

  • Category 3: Major projects- €100,001 to €300,000.

* Applications under Category 2 and 3 must include a minimum contribution of 5% of the total project costs from the applicants own funds

Senator Cummins added “this fund will operate in a similar way to the sports capital process with community groups being encouraged to register as 'users' on the portal in advance of the formal application process opening on Tuesday 7th June 2022. The closing date for applications will be Thursday 14th July 2022.

“It is intended that the fund will be flexible in addressing the need for capital upgrades and refurbishment in areas such as:

  • Works to improve communal facilities such as kitchen and toilet facilities

  • Energy retrofitting, new windows / doors / heating systems

  • Upgrades to lighting systems and stage areas

  • Works to address safety concerns, including as a result of fire safety audits

  • Works to improve disability access

  • Improvements to assist in providing additional or better services to the community such as Meals for the Elderly & youth facilities

  • Works to develop Community Centres as Social Hubs through the development of Community Cinemas, Youth Hubs and Community Libraries

  • Essential maintenance works, repairs to roof, etc

Announcing the fund Minister Humphreys said “Community Centres are at the heart of every community in Ireland, rural and urban. We need places for people to meet up, to play sport and engage in all sorts of activities whether it is meals for the elderly, indoor soccer or basketball, or providing a space for the local dramatic society to perform.

“This new fund is about supporting them to carry out vital upgrade works as well as enhancing the services and amenities they can provide to persons of all ages in their community.

“Community Centres are all about bringing people together in a locality. As Minister, I want to ensure Community Centres continue to be at the heart of our local parishes, towns and villages

Senator Cummins concluded by saying “I am encouraging all community groups to look at this fund and think about how they can use it to improve their own local parish hall or community centre. Do you need new windows or doors? Does the stage or sound system need to be upgraded? Could you look at developing space for a Youth Hub or Community Cinema? This fund is a wonderful opportunity to further develop or improve your facilities.

The Department will be hosting a number of online information events in May and June 2022 to provide guidance in relation to the application process and details will be released in due course. Guidelines and a sample application form are now available at Community Groups are urged to familiarise themselves with the application process and criteria well in advance of submitting their application.

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