Town and village grants that can help make big change

Leinster Express Reporter

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Leinster Express Reporter

christmas

Mountmellick Christmas tree lights benefited in 2018

Community groups, residents associations and other non-commercial organisations are being encourged to draw up plans for the latest round of grants to fund projects in their areas.

The Community Enhancement Programme is funded by the Department of Rural and Community Development.

It allows public money to be provided to groups who want to enhance a wide variety of local facilities.

The programme has a focus on supporting those living in disadvantaged areas.

It supports small-scale funding for projects which range from purchasing lawnmowers and IT equipment to minor renovations to buildings.

The Department says that, ultimately, the programme responds to local needs.

It says the investments allow community groups to carry out the invaluable work they do on behalf of others in local areas throughout the country.

Last year, 91 of 94 applications were successful in Laois with funding spread across the county across a wide range of projects of varying sizes and types.

Grants ranged from just under €500 to €12,000. A total of €284,032 was allocated.

The Mountrath Development Association Youth Project was the biggest recipent . A €12,000 grant is recommended to pay to fit out the group's centre.

The Mountmellick Christmas tree received €6,500 with the town's Christmas tree lights committee getting €8,000. Both grants are for energy efficient lights.

“The impact of the Community Enhancement Programme is considerable,” said Minister Michael Ring launching the programme.

Any not-for-profit community or voluntary group can apply. Commercial organisations and individuals are ineligible.

The closing date for applications is 5pm on Thursday, May 30. For an application form and guidelines please contact Community Development Section, Laois County Council, by email at dce@laosicoco.ie or phone 057 8664169/8664206.

The application process for the CEP is administered through the council by the Laois Local Community Development Committee (LCDC).