Out of €4.5 million to support community groups impacted by Covid-19, a total of €136,524 will be made available in Laois.
So says local Fianna Fail senator Fiona O’Loughlin who confirmed that the 2021 Community Enhancement Programme (CEP) will provide small grants designed to assist in the re-opening of facilities such as community centres, men’s and women’s sheds, parish halls and youth centres.
The grants will range from a few hundred euro up to €10,000, however, exceptions will be made depending on the application.
The funding is to help groups and clubs get back on their feet and may be used to carry out necessary renovations and repairs or to purchase equipment such as tables and chairs, tools and signage, laptops and printers, lawnmowers, canopies, training equipment and so on.
The Community Enhancement Programme, which to date has supported over 8,000 projects, places a focus on supporting groups in disadvantaged areas.
The key theme of this year’s programme is supporting groups as they their re-open facilities which have been closed due to Covid-19.
“This funding is about giving a helping hand to our local groups and clubs, which are the lifeblood of our communities,” said Senator O’Loughlin.
“As we come out of Covid-19, so many of these organisations will incur specific costs relating to the re-opening of their facilities.
“This could range from purchasing a new set of tables and chairs to repairing a leak in the roof or renovating the kitchen facility.
“These grants may be small in nature. But I know they will go a long way in helping thousands of great community organisations and clubs the length and breadth of the country.”
As the grants are relatively small, this programme may appeal to groups that are not eligible for the €10 million COVID Stability Fund, which was launched last week.
Senator O’Loughlin said: “I would encourage all interested groups to get in touch with their Local Community Development Committee (LCDC) that administers the programme in their area.
“Supporting local communities to shape their future is a key focus of the Government’s new rural development policy, Our Rural Future.
“The funding I am announcing will benefit Laois and ensure that important small scale, ground-up projects can be delivered by local communities for local communities.”