Cork County Council’s Local Community Development Committees are composed of representatives from the Council, State Agencies, Local Development Groups, and the voluntary and private sector. These groups are responsible for coordinating, managing and overseeing community development projects that are led locally to maximise their benefit to communities.
2018 was a very successful year for the Cork LCDCs. The launch of the new Social Inclusion and Community Activation Program (SICAP) 2018-2022, aimed at tackling poverty and social exclusion, and budgeted at €11,548,864 for the 5 years, saw €1,923,144 allocated to 6 Local Development Companies within Cork County to deliver the programme in 2018. These funds support disadvantaged communities and marginalised groups and are managed by the LCDCs at a local level, enabling the delivery of services that are more relevant, continuous, and impactful on their target communities.
The LCDCs are also responsible for administering the Community Enhancement Programme. €618,516 was awarded throughout Cork County under this program with 144 projects benefitting in 2018. Delivery of this funding has led to the renovation of community centres and amenities, improvements to common areas and spaces, purchase of equipment for community groups plus much more.
Cork County Council’s LCDCs availed of separate funding under the Community Enhancement Programme to support the work of Men’s Sheds. 23 affiliated Men’s Shed Groups were awarded €33,327 under this programme. Men’s Sheds are at the frontline of tackling rural isolation and provide an avenue for individual health and happiness and community-wide pride and success.
The Rural Development Programme is delivered by the LCDCs through LEADER funding. This funding is available for projects which help develop sustainable rural communities. €3,229,472.85 was approved throughout County Cork in 2018 by the LCDCs with 4 projects out of 9 applications approved by December 2018 for funding from a separate allocation released under the LEADER Food Initiative. The LCDCs management of LEADER funding connects rural communities with the EU and, central to the LCDCs’ mission, supports communities throughout County Cork.
Cork County Council submitted an application to the Healthy Ireland Fund on behalf of the LCDCs, which has allowed for the development of the ‘Teen Talk’ initiative. Following the successful first run, the funding allowed for 3 events to take place in each County Cork LCDC area in 2019. The Teen Talk’s programme has been hugely successful and popular with the transition year students the program is aimed at.
Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr. Patrick Gerard Murphy, praised the LCDCs, noting:
“The work carried out by the Council’s Local Community Development Committees and their partners throughout the county is among the finest examples of what we are capable of. There are no better people to point out where work is needed to develop communities than the people of those same communities. The LCDCs work directly with communities to ensure that they benefit from the right funding for the right projects and contribute to our great quality of life here in County Cork.”