Cabinet agrees transfer of Community Services Programme to Department of Rural and Community Development

Published 13 December 2017

The Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring TD, has announced that the Community Services Programme (CSP) has been transferred from the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection to the Department of Rural and Community Development. The transfer of the Programme was agreed by Cabinet today (Tuesday).

The CSP, with a budget of €46.2 million, supports community businesses that deliver services and create employment for people from disadvantaged groups.  Not-for-profit organisations are funded under the programme and recruit unemployed people to work in the projects.

Minister Ring said: “As a programme that is so firmly community focused I believe the CSP is a natural fit for the Department of Rural and Community Development. It provides services in communities where public and private sector services are lacking or where the demand for services cannot be met. It means that geographically or socially isolated communities get services they need, while offering real employment opportunities locally.”

“The programme aligns really strongly with my mandate. It is aligned with the Action Plan for Rural Development and the Framework for Local and Community Development – supporting sustainable communities by enhancing local service provision and supporting enterprise and employment – creating local jobs.

The CSP works on a social-enterprise model and funds projects such as the management of community halls and facilities; the delivery of community services (e.g. home insulation; disability transport; meals-on-wheels); and community enterprises providing employment for marginalised groups, such as Travellers and people with disabilities.