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State support for community and recreational facilities in Co. Kildare

Question 192: To ask the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the steps being taken to improve the community and recreational facilities in Kildare north to accommodate the 12.4% population increase, which comprises of a substantial number of young persons; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [Ref No:19391/11]

Response from Minister Phil Hogan (Department of Environment, Community and Local Government): 7th July 2011

There are a number of supports administered by my Department that can assist community and recreational facilities and services in Co. Kildare.

The Local Agenda 21 Environmental Partnership Fund (LA21), supports small scale, non-profit projects and initiatives, such as community gardens, rainwater harvesting systems and environmental exhibitions, which increase environmental awareness and facilitate sustainable development at community level. Each local authority receives a standard minimum allocation annually plus an additional amount based on their population as provided in the most recent census figures.

Funding of €12,282,448 is available under the Rural Development Programme Ireland (RDP) 2007-2013 for allocation by Cill Dara ar Aghaidh Teoranta (Kildare LEADER Partnership) to qualifying projects up to the end of 2013. One of the objectives of the RDP is to identify and provide appropriate amenity and leisure facilities to local communities not otherwise available to them with a particular focus on young people. In this context it may be possible to obtain funding for a variety of projects to improve community and recreational facilities in County Kildare.

Cill Dara ar Aghaidh Teoranta is contracted, on my Department’s behalf, to deliver the RDP throughout County Kildare and is the principal decision-maker in relation to the allocation of project funding.

Decisions are made in the context of the local development strategy of the company and in line with Departmental operating rules and EU regulations. Contact details for this group can be found on my Departments website at www.environ.ie

Kildare Volunteer Centre were awarded funding of €93,220 in 2011 under the Funding Scheme to Support Volunteering. Kildare Volunteer Centre works closely in partnership with local groups, organisations and networks within the community and voluntary sector in the Kildare area.

My Department also delivers the Local and Community Development Programme. While it does not directly support the development of community and recreational facilities, it funds actions aimed at tackling poverty and social exclusion – among other things, it supports actions which facilitate increased access to formal and informal educational, recreational and cultural development activities and resources for children, young people and adults.

The Programme is delivered in Kildare by Cill Dara ar Aghaidh Teoranta and information on specific actions funded through the Programme can be obtained from the Group.