The Community Enhancement Programme (CEP) provides capital funding to community groups across Ireland to enhance facilities in disadvantaged areas.
The CEP is funded by the Department of Rural and Community Development (the Department) and administered by the Local Community Development Committees (LCDCs) in each Local Authority area.
The Department launched the 2020 CEP on 22 June of this year, with funding of €2m nationally.
New €5m fund under the CEP
Separate to the €2m programme launched in June, the Department is now launching a new €5m fund, under the CEP, which will provide capital grants towards the maintenance, improvement and upkeep of community centres and community buildings. Similar expenditure on other community facilities will also be allowed.
This funding is available under the Government’s July stimulus package, and is targeted at measures that stimulate local economies, while enhancing facilities in disadvantaged areas.
Consistent with previous iterations of the CEP, the Department provides funding to each Local Authority (LA) area and the LCDCs then administer this funding locally to ensure funding is targeted appropriately towards addressing disadvantage in the areas that need it most.
It is important to note that other agencies and departments also invest in disadvantaged areas. The CEP will operate in a complementary manner to add value to other front-line schemes and programmes being operated in communities.
The Department has recommended that LCDCs ring-fence some funding to provide small capital grants of €1,000 or less. This is aimed at assisting small grassroots community projects to get off the ground. Ring-fencing funding at this level will allow a greater number of groups with limited resources to receive some funding. The programme can also fund or partially fund larger scale capital projects to address disadvantage. The maximum grant amount that will be awarded under this scheme is €20,000.
Applications should be made online to the relevant LCDC by 30th September, 2020.
Capital expenditure on adaptations or equipment needed as a result of COVID-19 may be eligible, depending on the work being completed.