Registration is now open and the deadline for applications is June 7th for community groups who wish to apply for funding though the Community Centres Investment Fund (CCIF), a new fund which will see €15m invested this year in community buildings across the country.
As reported here in March, the new Community Centres Investment Fund (CCIF) will see €15m spent upgrading and refurbishing community buildings across the country.
The CCIF complements funding schemes worth over €150m to communities this year and a very useful calendar featuring details and deadlines for all the major funding schemes for communities has been published to make it easier for community groups to see where they can apply and to plan ahead.
The main announcements in March drew attention to:
• The new €15 million fund to upgrade and refurbish community centres.
• The focus on Remote Working through initiatives such as Connected Hubs and Town and Village Renewal Scheme.
• The Rural Regeneration and Development Fund which is designed to tackle vacancy and dereliction.
• Significant investment in walkways, trails, rivers and lakes under the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Fund.
• Focus on ambitious projects which make a lasting impact to communities.
Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys, pointed out that there is now “unprecedented” support from government for rural communities through various funding programmes.
The funds, some of which are still open for applications, include:
• Community Centres Investment Fund. (Registration is open now; Applications will open 7 June 2022).
• Town and Village Renewal Scheme – Streetscapes.
• Rural Regeneration and Development Fund.
• Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme.
• Town and Village Renewal Scheme – Connected Hubs.
• Dormant Accounts Fund Social Enterprise – Capital Supports.
As Minister Humphreys said, “The funding is available – so identify good projects, make your applications strong and get them into my Department.”
The rural investment packages are underpinned by the Our Rural Future and Town Centre First national policies.
Under the new Community Centres Investment Fund, groups can apply for grants ranging from €10,000 to €300,000.
Minister O’Brien commented: “There is little point in having great infrastructure if there are not the people using those facilities to deliver the many community and voluntary programmes and schemes across the country. That is why I am committed to supporting the Community & Voluntary sector to maximise its impact in communities throughout Ireland.”
The challenge of making best use of community centres was recently discussed at cabinet sub-committee level, as Minister Eamon Ryan told this publication.
Updated: This article was first published on March 11th after over 300 stakeholders attended a special online webinar to hear full details on funding schemes. It was updated on May 11th. – Editor.