Wicklow projects to benefit from over €1.6m from Community Recognition Fund

Wicklow Minister, Simon Harris TD.

Eoin Mac RaghnaillWicklow People

Wicklow Fine Gael Minister Simon Harris has announced details of projects throughout Wicklow that will receive a total of €1,680,887 in funding through the new €50 million Community Recognition Fund.

Launched on January 24, the Community Recognition Fund aims to support the development of community infrastructure and facilities in recognition of the contributions by communities across the country in welcoming and hosting significant numbers of arrivals from Ukraine and other countries.

Seven Wicklow projects will benefit from the funding, with sports clubs, schools and community organisations in Greystones, Bray, Arklow, Rathdrum, Wicklow town and Baltinglass benefitting from the major investment.

Among the projects selected are the Bray Community Centre and Bray Parish Centre, which will receive €340,000 and €150,000 respectively, for various works and improvements. Greystones Community Park will also be allotted €145,000 for a boules playground ground and other improvements.

Baltinglass Community Park will receive €425,000 for the Riverside Walking Path, a new playground and a refurbishment of the MUGA sports facility, while the Wicklow Town Place Making Project will be allocated €340,000 for the refurbishment of the Assembly Hall.

Arklow Playing Pitch will get €121,200 for groundwork, a multi-use pitch, fencing and landscaping and Rathdrum Community Park will receive €79,645 for groundwork, fencing, benches and other improvements.

Announcing the funding, Minister Harris said: “I am delighted that such substantial funding has been secured for County Wicklow under the first-ever Community Recognition Fund.

“I have worked very closely with my Government colleague, Minister Heather Humphreys, to ensure Wicklow projects secured significant investment under this fund.

“These projects are being delivered in communities that have done so much in terms of welcoming in people from Ukraine and other countries around the world. I know as Minister for Justice the huge efforts communities have made.

“I want to say a huge thank you to the communities on the ground, and I know this funding will make such a big difference right across County Wicklow.”

The Community Recognition Fund is specifically targeted at projects that are located in communities, towns and villages that are hosting the beneficiaries of temporary protection and/or international protection applicants.

The Fund will support the development of facilities that will be used by all members of the community. It is separate in its objectives and scope from any other public funding streams which aim to support the development of public service needs arising from the significant number of arrivals from Ukraine.

€50 million is available under the fund, which was allocated between each local authority based on the number of ‘new arrivals’ located there in January 2023.

The fund is being administered at a local level by the relevant local authority. A funding proposal, comprising projects selected and prioritised locally, was submitted by each local authority to the Department of Rural and Community Development for final approval.