Justine Dwyer

Rural communities in Waterford are to benefit from a €150 million package of supports to rejuvenate country towns and villages as announced by the Department of Rural and Community Development last week.

Local Minister for Mental Health and Older People, Mary Butler TD, advised Waterford’s community groups, town teams, development associations and local chambers to familiarise themselves with the funding streams available.

“There is a vast array of funding streams available for revitalising town centres, combating dereliction, promoting remote working and more. This significant funding announcement represents a great opportunity for Waterford’s proactive community groups to secure funding for their communities.”

She added that she was very encouraged by the announcement of the introduction of a new Community Centres Investment Fund for 2022. “This new capital Fund will invest €15 million in the upgrade and refurbishment of community buildings so that of people of all ages can benefit.”

Under the fund, groups and organisations based in both rural and urban communities in Waterford can apply for grants ranging from €10,000 to €300,000. “This is an ideal funding stream should your community need financial support to carry out fire safety or other necessary repair works at the local community centre or Parish Hall.”

“The new Fund will provide grants for small and large-scale projects and help us to provide focal points for communities as they come back together. Details of the application process and application forms will be available online in the coming weeks.”

Deputy Butler concluded by saying that the capital funding programmes outlined last week, including the newly announced Community Centres Investment Fund, were complemented by a suite of other funding programmes.

“The calendar for all funding schemes for 2022 including, regeneration projects in rural areas, remote Working and connectivity, outdoor amenities and other projects that help communities are now available on the Department of Rural and Community Development website.

Waterford’s City and County Council and community groups can now plan ahead and utilise these funding streams to maximise the potential of our rural towns, villages and parishes.”