17 May 2022

Money available to Laois groups to help get back no their feet after lockdown

Laois young people to battle it out for spot on Electric Picnic stage

Laois young people to battle it out for spot on Electric Picnic stage at the Youth Cafe in Portlaoise

More than €130,000 in grants is available to community groups in Laois to help them get back on their feet after the Covid-19 lockdown.

The Department of Rural and Community Development has announced that the 2021 Community Enhancement Programme (CEP) will provide small capital 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.

Sports clubs will also be given financial support to purchase equipment and sports gear, as well as to carry out minor upgrades that will benefit its members.

Laois County Council has received €136,524 to share and the grants will range from a few hundred euro up to €10,000. Exceptions will be made depending on the application.

The funding will be administered locally by the Laois Local Community Development Committees (LCDC) with support from their Local Authority. 

The Department says the funding 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 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 Department says 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.

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.

Applications for funding can be made to the relevant LCDC. Contact details for LCDCs are available here.

Laois Offaly Green Party Minister of State Pippa Hackett said the Community Enhancement Programme is an important funding source for small community groups.

"If you’re part of such an organization, I’d advise you to contact your Local Community Development Committee for details on how to access this funding,” she said.

Fianna Fáil Kilare South-based senator also welcomed the money.

“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.

Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, and Minister of State with responsibility for Community Development and Charities, Joe O’Brien TD, have today announced €4.5 million to support community groups impacted by Covid-19.

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