Pobal welcomes the announcement by Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring TD that he will continue the Community Services Programme (CSP) Support Fund on a once-off basis in 2019, providing an additional €1 million to organisations most in need.

Announcing the funding Minister Ring said: “I am delighted to be in a position to extend the Support Fund in to 2019 but I want to go further; I am expanding the Fund by increasing the number of qualifying organisations that are in receipt of the funding and increasing the contribution from the 2018 level of €350 per full-time equivalent position to €1,100.”

The Minister continued: “This will return the Fund to the original 2016 contribution, but with the additional organisations it will be increased to just under €1 million. I hope that this will go some way to assist organisations that are struggling to meet the minimum wage levels.”

The Support Fund is being extended on a once-off basis in 2019 pending completion of the CSP review. The review will consider, among other things, the extent to which CSP supports should align with the minimum wage and will make recommendations on funding structures post-2019.

The Minister added: “I know that the Fund will not entirely bridge the gap between my Department’s contribution and the minimum wage, but it will help alleviate the financial challenges faced by smaller CSP supported organisations and maintain their viability pending the completion of the CSP review in 2019.”

In concluding, the Minister thanked the CSP supported organisations across the country for their ongoing commitment and work: “I want to commend and acknowledge the fantastic services that are being delivered by CSP supported organisations across the county. They are providing vital services, giving employment and keeping the heart of our communities alive.”

Pobal administers the Community Services programme (CSP) on behalf of the Department of Rural and Community Development. The CSP supports approximately 400 community companies and co-operatives to deliver local social, economic and environmental services that tackle disadvantage by providing a co-funding contribution towards the cost of employing a manager and full-time equivalent (FTE) positions. More information can be found on the CSP Programme page.

Queries in relation to the CSP Support Fund can be emailed to: csp@pobal.ie