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Matthews encourages local groups to apply for funding under the Community Enhancement Programme

Date: 11 May 2021

Green Party TD, Deputy Steven Matthews was speaking following the funding announcement by his Green Party colleague, Minister Joe O’Brien. Wicklow County Council, who will be administering the fund will receive over €141,000 as part of the Community Enhancement Programme. This raft of funding is targeted at small, local groups and clubs that have been impacted by the pandemic to assist them in reopening in the coming months. To avoid confusion, this is a totally separate fund previously announced under the Covid Stability Fund 2021 that was targeted at larger community organisations. Discussing the funding, Deputy Matthews said:

“The news of targeted funding for smaller community groups is extremely positive. A number of group leaders and organisers have been in touch with me in recent months regarding funding concerns and they were afraid that they would be unable to qualify due to their relatively small size. I hope that this funding announcement will help alleviate their concerns. The pandemic has shown how incredibly important community is in our lives and I hope that this funding will go a small way in replacing the kind of funding that generally would have been done through fundraising and assist these organisations in reopening as soon and as safely as possible.

“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. This may include minor repairs, the purchase of IT equipment or other amenities.

“The maximum grant available is €10,000 but each application will be fairly assessed by Wicklow County Council based on the needs of the individual group applying. The key focus of this programme, which should be reflected in applications, is the reopening of our society, which these clubs and groups play such an integral role in. This may mean a variety of things to each applicant, whether that be replacing an old computer or fixing a hole in the roof, so the flexibility in this funding is extremely welcome.

“The closing date for applications will be set by Wicklow County Council so I encourage all community groups to engage with the local authority in the coming weeks and to get their applications in. As ever, if anyone involved needs assistance in submitting a grant application, do not hesitate to get in touch. As our society continues to reopen, I look forward to being able to meet with local groups in person to offer any support that I can, concluded Deputy Matthews.

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