As the government announces the details of Budget 2019, what has been allocated to the Department, and where else will communities see increases?

Minister for Rural and Community Development Michael Ring and Minister of State Seán Kyne welcomed increased funding to the Department of Rural and Community Development as part of Budget 2019.

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

Key Budget 2019 measures

An additional €55m has been made available to invest in rural towns and villages through the €1 billion Rural Regeneration and Development Fund, which begins in January 2019.

A further €2m is budgeted for expanding the successful Walks Programme, bringing its total allocations for 2019 to €4m.

Extra funding of €3.3m will be provided to support the new library strategy, bringing the total library development allocation for 2019 to €7.2m.

Additional support of €2.4m was announced for measures under the Dormant Accounts Action Plan to address economic, social or educational disadvantage. This brings the total Dormant Accounts allocation in 2019 to €12.6m.

The Community Enhancement Programme will be receiving an additional allocation of €2m, bringing the total 2019 allocation up to €4m. This is to enhance community facilities in disadvantaged areas, e.g. renovating community centres, or improving town parks and common areas.

Additional funding under the cross-border PEACE Programme 2014-2020 will bring the total 2019 allocation up to €5m.

Furthermore, an additional €500,000 will go to enhance the Western Development Commission’s capacity to support innovative and strategic regional development initiatives in the West. This increased this allocation to €2m.

Irish Water Safety will be receiving additional funding, increasing the total allocation for 2019 to €1.1m.

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