Residents’ groups get about half the funding they sought

This year’s Amenity Grant funding has been announced for community groups in Kilkenny City, with six residents’ associations receiving approximately half of the amounts they initially sought.

This year’s Amenity Grant funding has been announced for community groups in Kilkenny City, with six residents’ associations receiving approximately half of the amounts they initially sought.

Kilkenny Borough Council received a total of eight applications for Amenity Grant funding. The total fund set aside was €5,000.

Two of the applications were omitted from the scheme on the grounds that they did not meet the relevant criteria.

The Fr McGrath Centre was denied funding on the basis that it was for the provision of services in the Bishops’ Demesne Community Area, while the application from the Church Lane Residents Association – which referred to a structure within the Good Shepherd Centre – did not fall within the criteria either.

“The Amenity Grants scheme is intended to assist residents and community groups,” senior engineer Kieran Fitzgerald told the Borough Council at last week’s meeting.

The €5,000 fund was split thus: Robertshill Residents’ Association (€1,420), Lacken Drive Residents’ Association (€945), Ashurst Residents’ Association (€945), Rosehill Court Residents’ Association (€815), College Square Residents’ Association (€640) Dean Kavanagh Residents’ Association (€235).

The money will be used by the groups for the basic upkeep and maintenance of community areas. Planting shrubs, cutting grass, restoring flower beds and painting railings all fall within its remit.

Cllr John Coonan (FF) said the council should accept the funding allocations, but he called for a different approach be taken to publicising the grants in the future.

“Maybe to help with this matter, Amenity Grants and Arts Grants, we should put this out on local radio to encourage all community groups possible to avail of the funds we do have, to be fair to all concerned,” he said.

“People will sometimes come to us and say ‘we never knew’.”

Cllr Malcolm Noonan (Green Party) felt that past methods had been equally effective.

“I think, last year, the local authorities published a pamphlet outlining all the various grants,” he said.

“If residents’ groups do register we could send out a package to them.”

Labour Party Cllr Marie Fitzpatrick praised the local associations for their commitment to the Kilkenny environs.

“I would like to compliment the residents’ groups for the way the keep their areas,” she said.