Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, and Minister of State with responsibility for Community Development and Charities, Joe O’Brien TD, announced a new €10 million fund to support thousands of local community & voluntary groups with their energy bills.
The Community Support Fund is a once-off fund, which is funded by the Department of Rural and Community Development. It will be allocated under the Department’s Community Enhancement Programme and will be administered locally by the Local Community Development Committees (LCDCs) and the final approval of grants will be a matter for the LCDC. Any not-for-profit community or voluntary group can apply. Commercial organisations and individuals are not eligible for funding.
Limerick has received an allocation of €350,592 under the Scheme to assist community groups across the county. This support is available to Parish Halls, Community Centres, Local Development Associations, Social Clubs, ICA Groups, Senior Citizen Groups, Men’s Sheds, Women’s Sheds and more. Small grants to help groups with running costs and rising energy bills is one of the main features of the scheme along with applications from groups supporting rural pursuits and activities.
The new scheme has been devised to support groups with their energy costs who may not have been deemed eligible under previous Government schemes recently announced. Groups can also use the funding to carry out small upgrade works and to purchase equipment to support their activities such as laptops and printers, lawnmowers, training equipment, etc.
The Community Support Fund will support groups, particularly in disadvantaged areas
- With their non-pay running costs for example energy costs (electricity costs, refuse charges, heating charges) or other non-pay operating costs for example rental/lease costs, insurance bills. Only energy/operating costs relating to 1st April 2022 to 31st March 2023 are eligible.
- Groups will also be able to use the funding to carry out necessary repairs and improvements to their facilities, purchase equipment such as tables and chairs, tools and signage, laptops and printers, lawnmowers, canopies and training equipment
All applications for funding under this programme will be reviewed and assessed to ensure consistency with the Limerick Local Economic and Community Plan (LECP).
In deciding the final allocations of funding to projects, the LCDC may take account of a number of factors including geographical balance, previous funding received by the applicant and the desirability to fund a variety of projects. The relative disadvantage of the area where the facility is located or the area it serves will form part of the decision process along with cross-reference being made to the HP (Hasse Pobal) Deprivation Index. Click here for link.
The Community Support Fund is now closed for applications.