More than 80 community projects in Munster have been granted funding as part of a €33m investment to upgrade community centres nationwide.
In all, 278 communities, located all over Ireland, will benefit as part of the investment.
The news was announced today by Rural and Community Development Minister Heather Humphreys, alongside Tánaiste Leo Varadkar.
This Community Centre Investment Fund is the largest-ever capital investment in upgrading these centres, with funding from between €25,000 up to €300,000 provided to projects.
The funding is not limited to community centres alone and will be used to upgrade, renovate, and refurbish places such as parish and Scouts club halls, youth hubs, family resource centres, and sports complexes.
Some examples of the types of work supported include upgrading of kitchen facilities to improve the delivery of meals on wheels, the provision of meeting rooms, counselling rooms, offices and family rooms, and coverage of essential maintenance works. Other types of work being supported include:
- Extensions to existing community centres;
- Energy retrofitting/upgrades to heating systems;
- Works to develop community centres as social hubs through the development of community cinemas, youth hubs, and community libraries;
- Upgrades to lighting systems and stage areas;
- Fire safety upgrades;
- Works to upgrade toilet facilities, improve disability access, and replacement of windows and doors.
Speaking at the announcement, Mr Varadkar said the Government is “committed to community development” and said the “ground-breaking investment” in these centres will bring about “real improvements to the heart of communities across Ireland".
Announcing the overall investment, Ms Humphreys described community centres as “the heart of our towns, villages, and parishes right across the country".
“The community centre is where the children go to play sport; it’s where meals are provided for our senior citizens; it’s where the local dramatic society perform; it’s where the ICA, our Men’s Sheds, youth clubs, and other local organisations come together for their meetings and events,” she said.
The successful applicants announced today include:
Burncourt Community Hall: €209,832.20. The Burncourt Community Hall Regeneration project promises the delivery of a new outdoor recreation, meeting, and entertainment space, which will provide an area for large outdoor gatherings for people of all age groups.
Murroe Wood Park sports facility: €206,290.71. This funding will go towards the creation of a community cafe, community gym, remote working space and changing facilities.
Newmarket-on-Fergus Community Centre: €300,000. This funding will be used to renovate and repair the main hall, toilets, and changing facilities, as well the installation of solar panels and LED lighting.
My Place Community Centre, Midleton: €300,000.A first-floor extension that will provide two multipurpose large rooms, another counselling room, toilets, and a small coffee-break room.
Carbally Community Development: €300,000 to upgrade the downstairs space into a new activity hall as well as the provision of disability access.
A spokesperson for Carbally Community Development said they were "overwhelmed" at the news, which "is like our dream come true".
This funding will allow the team to "create a new space, which will be accessible by all ages, from older people to the very young and people with disabilities", allowing them to utilise the space "to its full potential".
Ardfert Community Council €300,000, and Listowel Community Centre €242,796.