More than €1 million in funding has been allocated for the Community Service Programme (CSP) Support Fund in 2020.
This will be pending the outcome of a review of the CSP, which is nearing completion.
I am delighted that the fund from my department, the Department of Rural and Community Development is being extended.
My colleague Minister Michael Ring will be reviewing a report on the CSP by the independent consultants Indecon, which is due in the coming weeks.
He will examine its recommendations with a view to making any necessary changes. Pending revision, the CSP will continue into 2020.
This is extremely good news. The support fund will provide an additional maximum contribution of €1,200 per full-time equivalent position with funding tailored to meet the needs of community organisations which are struggling financially.
The CSP provides support to community-based organisations that offer vital services through a social enterprise model.
It contributes towards the cost of employing staff in organisations that it supports.
Those organisations typically fill gaps in local services and provide access to services and facilities that would otherwise not be available. Almost €47 million will be provided under the programme in 2020.
I want to acknowledge the hard work of management and staff in all the CSP supported organisations who carry out invaluable work in their local communities.