Department of Rural and Community Development Local Enhancement plan
Ministers Humphreys and Joe O’Brien announce new €6 million “Department of Rural and Community Development Local Enhancement Programme 2024”
· New €6 million capital fund to assist thousands of community groups across the country
· €1 million ring-fenced funding to support Women’s Groups
· Local Enhancement Programme to focus on disadvantaged areas
· Supporting community groups a key focus of ‘Our Rural Future’
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 (Wednesday, 6th December 2023) announced €6 million in capital funding under the “Department of Rural and Community Development Local EnhancementProgramme 2024”.
This funding will provide capital supports essential for the many small community groups and organisations, particularly those who serve disadvantaged areas in rural and urban areas.
There will be a particular focus on small capital works/improvements, and the purchase of equipment for community use. The funding may be used, but is not limited to; improved access for persons with a disability; enhancing community participation for disadvantaged and marginalised groups, and improving energy efficiency of community facilities to reduce ongoing costs.
The scheme is designed to ensure local priorities are identified and met, so as to improve and enhance community facilities for all.
Announcing the funding, Minister Humphreys said:
“This funding is about giving a helping hand to our local groups and clubs, who are the building blocks of Irish community life.
“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 Ireland.
“Supporting local communities to shape their future is a key focus of the Government’s rural development policy, Our Rural Future. The funding I am announcing today will benefit every single county and ensure that important small scale, ground-up projects can be delivered by local communities for local communities.
“I would encourage all interested groups to get in touch with their Local Community Development Committee (LCDC) that administers the fund in their area.”
Minister Humphreys added:
“I am delighted to also to announce that I have reserved €1 million of this fund for Women’s Groups.
“This is in recognition of the fact that there is a growing number of Women’s Sheds, groups and networks across the country. So my message today is if you are part of a Women’s Group, please get in touch with your Local Community Development Committee in your area and apply for this funding.”
Also announcing the funding today, Minister O’Brien said:
“The funding will provide really practical support to smaller community groups that are active at a grassroots level to help them to ensure they have the facilities and equipment they need to support their communities.
“These grants will help thousands of community organisations, clubs, men’s and women’s sheds, youth centres and parish halls, to improve their facilities and continue to facilitate the provision of their valuable services to the people in their areas.
“I am particularly happy to have reserved funding for Women’s Sheds, groups and networks. Many of these groups are providing essential services on a day to day basis to those most in need. I hope this funding will help to support the provision of safe warm spaces for those groups to continue to meet and support their communities in both rural and urban areas right across the country.”
Funding for each Local Authority area
|Women’s Groups Allocation
Contact details for LCDCs are available here.
2024 Funding for Conservation works and repairs in Fingal.
Fingal County Council is now inviting applications under several schemes for works to be done in 2024 for small, medium or large-scale repairs or conservation projects to Protected Structures and in certain circumstances to buildings that enhance Architectural Conservation Areas within the Fingal area. The closing date for receipt of applications is FRIDAY 19th JANUARY 2024
In 2023 over €345,500 in funding was allocated through Fingal County Council to Stitch in Time grants, structures under the Built Heritage Investment Scheme and projects under the Historic Structures Fund to assist the repair and safeguarding of the architectural heritage of Fingal. For owners carrying out routine maintenance or small repairs to the historic fabric of their homes Fingal County Council’s own Stitch in Time scheme offers grants between €100 to €2,500. This Stitch in Time Grant is also open to funding applications for conservation reports or surveys by conservation professionals. For more substantial works funding is available through the Built Heritage Investment Scheme or the Historic Structures Fund. The Built Heritage Investment Scheme includes Ring-Fenced Funding for Thatched Structures. The eligible works are not limited to repairs to the thatch itself, other works could include mud wall repair, lime render repairs or historic window repairs. The Historic Structures Fund also allows for specific applications for the conservation of a vernacular structure that is not a Protected Structure and for the refurbishment of a historic shopfront or a traditional Irish Language shopfront.
Funding is available for projects to take place in 2023 under the following schemes:
- Architectural Heritage Fund’s “Stitch in Time Grant” 2024
- Built Heritage Investment Scheme 2024
- Historic Structures Fund 2024 (including sub-streams for Historic Shopfronts/Traditional Irish Language Shopfronts and for Vernacular Structures)
Fingal’s Architectural Conservation Officers, Helena Bergin and Laura Johnstone, welcome the continued financial support offered through these schemes for owners of historic properties to protect and maintain these buildings from funding provided out of Fingal County Council’s own resources and from national government. “It is very rewarding to see the direct benefit these conservation grant schemes have for owners to support them in implementing good housekeeping practices of regular maintenance and small repairs of historic and older buildings or rare and unusual structures but to also be able to help them with larger financial outlays where more substantial conservation interventions are required. This year we have expanded out Fingal’s Stitch in Time Grant to enable owners and custodians of the county’s built heritage to also apply for funding to engage experienced conservation professionals to produce conservation reports that will identify required works and recommend appropriate methodologies for repairs, and in certain cases specify the exact works. Good conservation advice is essential to ensure the works undertaken are sympathetic to and appropriate for the built fabric and that they correctly address and resolve the issue that has arisen.”
The conservation funding schemes exist to aid owners with the appropriate detailing and correct methods to repair the historic materials used in older buildings such as lime, stone, hand-made brick, thatch, natural slate, and historic joinery as the use of modern rigid and non-breathable materials such as concrete and plastics can do more harm than good in traditionally constructed buildings.
CLOSING DATE: Applications should be submitted to Fingal County Council by 5PM FRIDAY 19TH JANUARY 2024. Application forms for all three schemes are available on Fingal County Council website and completed applications should be sent to the Architectural Conservation Officer of Fingal County Council at A decision will issue to all applications following provisional approval of successful applications by the Department. This decision is generally made by early to mid-March.
Please note that applicants cannot avail of funding under both the Historic Structures Fund and the Built Heritage Investment Scheme in the same year and so if apply for both and are successful then can only accept one of them.
To apply see:
- Architectural Heritage Fund’s “Stitch in Time Grant” 2024 Stitch in Time Grant 2024
- Built Heritage Investment Scheme 2024 BHIS 2024
- Historic Structures Fund 2024 HSF 2024
FCC Christmas opening times 2023, Recycle Centre’s, Christmas tree recycling etc.
Fingal County Council Offices will close to the public for the Christmas period at 4.30pm on Friday December 22, 2023 and will reopen at 9am on Tuesday January 2, 2024. The Payments Offices will close as normal at 3.30pm.
See details below for Libraries and regional parks. For Recycling Centres, Christmas Tree recycling, Bring Banks etc. please find the details on FCC’s website page here
Fingal County Council Offices will close to the public for the Christmas period on Friday December 22, 2023 and will reopen on Tuesday January 2, 2024. Check our our Library Resources Online at eServices and eResources
Fingal Regional Parks
All Fingal Regional Parks will operate normal winter opening times over the Christmas period, including Christmas Day,
Tradfest Fingal 24 to 28 January 2024
Ireland’s largest trad and folk music festival invites audiences to experience the best of live music in the beautiful atmospheric setting of Fingal.
January 24th to the 28th 2024, experience Trad & Folk everywhere you go, from Dublin City Centre to the castles and coastline of historic Fingal.
See https://tradfest.com/fingal-events/ for details on how to book.
Rivervalley Community Centre Santa visit.
Santa Claus will be visiting Rivervalley Community Centre on Wedneday the 20th of December from 3.00 to 5.00pm, bring along your own camera for he pictures!
Any donations for providing the day are going to Swords Meals on Wheels, with details given in the above poster.
Panda Waste update
We have just received this email from our Waste removal provider (PANDA).
New legislation has come into effect from July 1st 2023. As an annual charge customer, this legislation will come into effect for your account as of January 1st 2024.
Apart from being much more environmentally friendly, smaller carbon footprint and a provider of great compost for gardening – having a composter/wormery will now save a centre approx. €755 per annum!
We would like to encourage all Community Centres to refuse the extra bin and set up a composting/wormery facility on their premises(image above). It’s a great way also to encourage residents to do the same in their own gardens.
A link to the IPCC website which has details and Q and A’s on wormery’s etc can be found here
A composting guide can be found below