Senator Robbie Gallagher says that not one application under the Town & Village Renewal Programme 2017 has been approved to date.
In reply to a Parliamentary Question to Senator Gallagher’s colleague and FF Spokesperson Deputy Eamon O Cuiv, Minister Heather Humphreys confirmed that applications are still “being assessed”.
“Delays within the Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs have caused a huge underspend across a range of programmes, and it seems oblivious to the fact that communities across the country are reliant on this funding to carry out essential works.”
“€7m was set aside for the CLÁR programme for 2017, and although 231 projects have been approved, not one cent has been spent on any of them. The projects were approved months ago but community groups have been left in limbo and are still waiting for the final letters of approval of projects,” he said.
“Similarly with the Town & Village Renewal Programme, although applications closed at the end of June, more than 6 weeks later none have been approved. It appears that’s it will be well into the autumn before any money is drawn down under the scheme.
“These delays must be addressed as a matter of priority. It is unacceptable that the already substantial underspend is being allowed to grow. The Minister and Department must take urgent action to address this problem.”