€62 million increase in Department of Rural and Community Development budget welcomed by Ministers Ring and Kyne

Budget will increase by €62 million to €293 million in 2019 – a 27% increase

Published 9 October 2018.

The Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring TD and Minister of State Seán Kyne TD today welcomed the funding allocations made available to the Department of Rural and Community Development as part of Budget 2019.

The overall level of funding for the Department will increase from €231 million in 2018 to €293 million in 2019. This funding will facilitate the continued delivery of programmes across the rural and community development areas; provide €55 million for the roll out of the new Rural Regeneration and Development Fund in 2019 and allow additional supports for programmes.

Key measures in Budget 2019:

  • An additional €55 million has been made available to invest in rural towns and villages through the €1 billion Rural Regeneration and Development Fundwhich begins in January, 2019
  • Walks Programme– Additional funding of €2 million for expansion of the successful Walks Programme – bringing the total allocation for 2019 to €4 million
  • Library Development– Additional funding of €3.3 million will be made available to support the Library Strategy – bringing the total allocation for 2019 to €7.2 million
  • Dormant Accounts– Additional support of €2.4 million for measures under the Dormant Accounts Action Plan which address economic, social or educational disadvantage. This bring the total Dormant Accounts allocation in 2019 to €12.6 million
  • Community Enhancement Programme– Additional funding of €2 million to enhance community facilities in disadvantaged areas. This will include, for example, renovating community centres, improving town parks and common areas and will bring the total 2019 allocation up to €4 million.
  • PEACE Programme– Additional funding under the cross-border PEACE Programme 2014-2020 which will bring the total 2019 allocation up to €5 million
  • Western Development CommissionAdditional funding of €500,000 to enhance the capacity to support innovative and strategic regional development initiatives in the West bringing the total allocation for 2019 up to €2 million
  • Irish Water SafetyAdditional funding to support the work of Irish Water Safety in promoting water safety, bring the total allocation for 2019 up to €1.1 million

Speaking today Minister Ring said: “I am delighted that this funding allocation allows me to continue the great work we are doing throughout rural Ireland and within our communities. It also allows me to progress the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund announced as part of the National Development Plan, with €55 million in capital funding allocated to this Fund in 2019. The allocation of significant additional funding to my Department demonstrates our continued commitment to supporting rural and community development across Ireland.”

Minister Ring added: “I am also increasing the support for a number of areas, including doubling funding for the expansion of the successful Walks Scheme, additional funding to benefit border communities under the PEACE programme, and additional investment in our libraries following the recent launch of the Libraries Strategy. This investment makes a real difference for communities and I am delighted we can increase our support in these areas.”

Welcoming today’s Budget announcement, Minister Kyne said: “Today’s budget has provided continued support for our communities, and in particular I welcome additional support for the Western Development Commission and increased funding for Dormant Accounts measures within the Department. This increased allocation for Dormant Accounts will allow continued support for excellent existing measures such as the Social Innovation Fund Ireland and funding for new measures such as supporting enterprise hubs along the Atlantic Economic Corridor and funding a number of volunteer centres around the country.”

#Budget19

ENDS

Note for Editors:

The large increase in capital allocations will support the roll out of the €1 billion Rural Regeneration and Development Fund, which was announced as part of the National Development Plan. This fund, which will have an allocation of €55m in 2019, provides unprecedented opportunities to support the revitalisation of rural Ireland.

Applications for the fund closed at the end of September 2018. There has been strong interest in the fund right across the country with well over 250 applications received for the different types of support. It is expected that the first round of successful projects will be announced in November, with funding commencing in 2019.

The additional supports and funding levels announced in today’s Budget build on an existing strong suite of programmes delivered by the Department of Rural and Community Development, including:

  • The LEADER Programme (€30 million allocation in 2019)
  • Town and Village renewal (€15 million allocation in 2019)
  • Rural recreation (€11 million allocation in 2019)
  • Local Improvements Scheme (€10 million allocation in 2019)
  • CLÁR Programme (€5 million allocation in 2019)
  • Local Authority preparations for roll out of national broadband plan (€2 million allocation in 2019)
  • Community Services Programme (€46 million allocation in 2019)
  • Supports for individuals and community groups through SICAP (€43 million allocation in 2019)
  • Supports and initiatives in the community and voluntary sector (€12.7 million allocation in 2019)
  • Charities Regulatory Authority (€4.6 million allocation in 2019).

Further details on these specific programmes can be found at www.drcd.gov.ie