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Minister announces €15m for upgrade of community centres

April 17th, 2022 3:15 PM

By Jackie Keogh

Rows of temporary bedding laid out in the community hall in Clonakilty in anticipation of the arrival of Ukrainian refugees last weekend.

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The Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, has announced a new €15m capital fund to support community groups for the upgrade and refurbishment of community centres.

The Community Centres Investment Fund will support community groups with the upgrade and development of their community centre facilities.

Funding will be available under three categories with grants of between €10k and €300k available for small scale projects of between €10,000 and €25,000; larger scale projects of between €25,001 and €100,000; and major projects of between €100,001 and €300,000.

Applications under Category two and three must include a minimum contribution of 5% of the total project costs from the applicant's funds.

Funding will be considered for works to improve communal facilities such as kitchen and toilet facilities; energy retrofitting, new windows, doors and 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 and youth facilities; works to develop community centres as social hubs through the development of community cinemas, youth hubs and community libraries; and essential maintenance works such as roof repairs.

There will be a two-stage application process with applicants asked to register their organisation in advance of the formal application process going live.

Registration will open on Tuesday May 3rd, applicants need to register as 'users' on the portal in advance of the application process opening on Tuesday June 7th. The closing date for applications is Thursday July 14th.

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 www.gov.ie/drcd.

Minister Humphreys said, '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?

'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.'

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