CHANGES to an EU grant scheme mean that more aid could be available to the Straffan Community Hall committee, writes Henry Bauress.
Kildare North TD, Emmet Stagg, said a 3 May announcement by Minister for Environment Phil Hogan T.D, reinstating a maximum grant €500,000 for Community projects under the LEADER elements of the Rural Development Programme, could help the Straffan group. Grants under the programme had been limited to €200,000 recently by the European Commission but it has now accepted the case made by the Minister that the grants do not represent State Aid given that they are for non-commercial community projects. The Commission has now and have reinstated the maximum grant level of €500,000. “This is good news for the Straffan Community Hall Committee who have major plans to renovate Straffan Hall and who have been fundraising to collect the local contribution on the basis that grant funding of €500,000 would be available.”
He said the committee have done tremendous voluntary work in the past eighteen months in rasing funds and developing their project to provide a modern facility for the Straffan Community. But the committee now needs to get approval for a €500,000 to enable the project to proceed. “I will be be doing all in my power to ensure that the project would get the go ahead this year,” he said.
- Henry Bauress