Almost 80 community projects in the Killarney Municipal District are to benefit from a fund of almost a quarter of million euro in 2017. The fund is being provided under Kerry County Council’s Community Support Fund.
The Community Support Fund – which is now in its third year – is a Kerry County Council initiative which supports a wide range of community, sporting and voluntary organisations across Kerry and a range of projects which are of benefit to local communities.
In Castleisland, Cllr. Bobby O’Connell welcomed the funding allocation for the general area.
“There aren’t too many people who welcomed the property tax when it was introduced a few years ago. There were less who believed that it would grow into a fund which would go back out to the communities for projects like those granted in this announcement,” said Cllr. O’Connell.
It recognises the valuable contribution the community and voluntary sectors make to the overall wellbeing of the people of the county and the vital and beneficial work that such organisations do.
Killarney Municipal District councillors agreed to allocate funding of €169,500 for 79 projects in the area with a further €50,000 set aside for projects and initiatives deemed to have the potential for co-funding with other sources such as the Leader Programme and which have a wider strategic aim.
In addition, €24,500 is being provided for projects and events which have been funded on an annual basis in recent years such as Christmas lighting in a number of areas and projects and events which were historically supported financially by Killarney Town Council.
Cathaoirleach of the Killarney Municipal District, Cllr Brendan Cronin said: “This is great news for dozens of hard-working community organisations all over the Municipal District with €244,000 being allocated in total. Kerry County Council is supporting groups which are serving and enhancing our communities and this funding is testament to the Council’s commitment to the work being done on the ground by such clubs, committees and organisations.
“One of our objectives this year is to strategically target funding to projects and groups which would be potentially eligible for co-funding under other schemes and to see how best that funding can be leveraged and maximised so €50,000 is being set aside for this purpose over the coming year,” he said.
The Community Support Fund, which is now in its third year, has supported over 700 projects across the county since its inception in 2015 to the value of €1.5million. It recognises the valuable contribution of the community and voluntary sectors in Kerry and the vital work that those organisations do.
Those supported over the past two years include community groups, sports clubs, residents’ committees, Tidy Towns groups, Chamber Alliances and other organisations across the four Municipal Districts in Kerry.
To assists applicants, Kerry County Council’s Community Department this year facilitated a number of workshops to explain the fund to applicants and the application process.
This year, for the first time, some of the Community Support Fund will be used to target strategic projects in Municipal Districts and will be used to co-fund projects which are in receipt of grants from other sources.
It may also be used by groups to help leverage grants under programmes such as the Town and Village Renewal Scheme and the Rural Economic Development Zone Scheme (REDZ). A portion of the fund is being retained in each Municipal District to provide matching funding for approved LEADER projects that have a broad community gain associated with them.
Over 100 applications for funding were received in the Killarney Municipal District in 2017 and those who did not succeed or were deemed ineligible for funding are being invited to contact the Community Department of Kerry County Council to discuss their applications.
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