Community Recognition Fund 2023-2024

As you may be aware, the Department of Rural and Community Development has announced the Community Recognition Fund as a once-off funding programme to recognise the contribution of communities in welcoming and hosting significant numbers of arrivals from Ukraine and other countries under the Beneficiaries of Temporary Protection and the International Protection Scheme (New Arrivals).   The aim of the Fund is to support the development of community infrastructure and facilities in recognition of this contribution, and is specifically targeted at capital projects located in communities, towns and villages that are hosting New Arrivals.  Expressions of Interest are now invited from communities/towns/villages that are hosting or offering services to New Arrivals, in accordance with the following criteria:


Eligibility Criteria – who can apply?

The Department has stipulated that we must have regard to the areas with highest numbers of New Arrivals in identifying projects under this Fund.   Therefore, based on current numbers/proportions of New Arrivals, a Priority 1 and Priority 2 list of areas has been identified on the attached document and Expressions of Interest are invited from communities/towns/villages who are hosting or supporting New Arrivals in these areas.


How much is available?

The total Fund for County Galway is €1,333,290, of which €1,233,290 will be available for direct grant support to communities/projects.   60% of the Fund (€799,974) must be spent in Year 1 by 6th October 2023, and 40% (€533,316) in Year 2 by 18th October 2024.   As a guide, Communities/Towns/Villages who are hosting or supporting New Arrivals in the Priority 1 areas can apply for capital projects in the region of €50,000 – €150,000.    Successful projects may be 100% funded, however, it should be noted that it may not be possible to fund all proposed projects and priority will be given to projects which are developed in line with the eligibility and assessment criteria.   If a specific countywide need/infrastructural deficit emerges through the community engagement/EOI process, the Council may reserve a proportion of the Fund to enable this specific need to be met across a wider number of areas.


Assessment Criteria – clearly identified community needs:

The Department has stipulated that we must have regard to areas which demonstrate a clear need for investment.  Therefore, we strongly encourage the relevant towns/villages to engage with all stakeholders in their community to identify local community needs on a whole-of-community basis, i.e., the gaps or deficits in community infrastructure/facilities which have emerged due to the increased population.   For example, more isolated areas may have a priority need for transport infrastructure/services whereas larger towns/villages may prioritise additional investment in playgrounds and other such facilities.    It is essential that any proposals for funding to the Department demonstrate this clear need for investment, therefore, the community engagement process to identify local needs will include the Municipal Districts, Local Community Development Committee, and the Ukrainian Community Response Forum who are coordinating supports and services to Ukrainian Nationals throughout the County.   Staff have been assigned to Municipal Districts to coordinate this community engagement process and they will engage directly with Elected Members and Community Groups, to identify potential priority projects that meet the guidelines.  The contact details for these staff are as follows, or please submit queries to [email protected] for their attention:

  • Athenry/Oranmore Municipal District:                                    Kieran Coyne                   Tel 087 952 0999
  • Ballinasloe, Loughrea, Tuam Municipal District                     Mary McGann                 Tel 087 1044 820
  • Conamara Municipal District:                                                   Eimear Dolan                   Tel 087 798 7738


Other Assessment Criteria:

Any funding proposals must deliver tangible benefits for the local area and be used in the future by all members of the community – therefore, it would be expected that any project areas would be available and accessible to all members of the community in the future.    In order to ensure the full drawdown of the Fund, Galway County Council will also assess the capacity of applicants to deliver proposed projects, the deliverability of any such projects within the tight timescales specified under this Fund, and the current level of investment in areas, before submitting recommendations to the Department of Rural and Community Development who will make the final approval decisions.


In light of the very tight deadlines for Galway County Council to invite EOIs, assess applications and submit recommendations to the Department, the following process will be adopted for the roll-out of this Fund:


  1. Expressions of Interest are now invited from communities/towns/villages who are hosting or offering services to New Arrivals in the host locations specified in the Guidelines and the completed Expression of Interest Form must be submitted by the closing date of 5pm on Friday 3rd March 2023 , to [email protected]
  2. As this is a competitive process, Galway County Council will assess all applications vis-à-vis the assessment criteria outlined above and in the Guidelines, and will shortlist the applications to be submitted to the Department with the prioritised recommendation list.   It is important that Groups/Organisations submit completed details in relation to proposals including copies of any relevant consents, designs, quotations, etc.  A whole of community approach is strongly recommended, with identified gaps for proposals of a capital nature that can be delivered within the timeframe.
  3. The Council will contact all successful projects upon notification by the Department to enter into Grant Agreements – no works/purchase of equipment should commence until a signed Grant Agreement is in place with the Council.