Waterford Council has been allocated €1,421,869 as part of an initiative designed to specifically support communities across the country that have welcomed families and citizens from Ukraine and other countries.
The fund is set to support communities across the county to develop projects within sport clubs, to establish playgrounds and walkways, new community groups and areas such as arts, drama and music.
In welcoming the announcement, Minister for Mental Health & Older People, Mary Butler TD stated: “This funding ultimately aims to support the development of facilities that will be used in the future by all members of the community.
“Among the projects that will be supported under the fund include, the refurbishment of local sports clubs and facilities, the upgrade of community facilities such as play areas and walkways, parks, and community gardens.
“The purchase of equipment to benefit local clubs, festivals, music and arts organisations and the enhancement of school or parish facilities that are open to the wider community after hours or on weekends are also included, as will transport infrastructure such as community vehicles and bus shelters.
The Waterford TD says that communities across Waterford have responded warmingly and integrated new arrivals from Ukraine, and believes it is vital that positive engagement levels continue.
“Communities in Waterford have really stepped up to the plate in recent weeks, opening their homes and facilities to people very much in need. This Fund is recognising the vital role our communities are playing as we continue to deal with many challenges, not least the war in Ukraine.
“I would like to encourage communities to engage directly with Waterford City & County Council in the coming weeks to ensure that high quality projects can be delivered, which will benefit our towns and villages for years to come.”
The €1.4 million which has been allocated to the local authority is based on the number of new arrivals located within the county, with over 1,000 Ukrainians having arrived in Waterford since the beginning of war in Eastern Europe last February.
Projects will be delivered by Waterford City & County Council in conjunction with community organisations throughout the county, with the funding to be drawn down over 2023 and 2024.