Sunday, 11 January 2015

AMENITY GRANTS COUNTY CORK

Each Year Cork County Council provide grant aid under the Amenity Grant Scheme:

The aim of this Scheme is to support groups who wish to build/improve facilities and or the purchase of equipment that will have a minimum lifetime of 5 years costing under €20,000. Applications are handled separately for each of the County's three divisions. I will let you know when the next round of funding is announced.  


Eligible Projects for Amenity Grant Scheme:
The type of projects that would be eligible for funding under this scheme are:-

  • Tidy Town projects
  • Improving amenities/purchase of equipment

Ineligible Projects for Amenity Grant Scheme:
The following is a list of the type of projects that would be ineligible for consideration under this scheme:-

  • Organisations/groups that have received funding under the Amenity Grant Scheme for the last three consecutive years (with the exception of Tidy Towns Committees)
  • Running costs of the projects (wages, electricity etc.)
  • Projects of a commercial nature

Who may Apply?

Community groups and local organisations within County Cork. Proposals from individuals will not qualify.
Levels of Support

The level of grant assistance will depend on a range of factors, including type of project, availability of other sources of funding, and the overall number of applications seeking funding under the Scheme.

Groups may choose to combine funding from the scheme applied for with other sources of grant aid. However, the fund will not become a substitute for other existing funding programmes. In all cases, groups seeking funding will be required to generate a significant percentage of local matching funding and evidence of this funding will be sought from applicants.


When substantial capital projects are proposed, confirmation that all the required funding has been secured (i.e. letters of offer from agencies, bank statements showing own funds etc.) must accompany the application.

Where the Group is not registered for VAT, grant aid can be paid on costs inclusive of VAT.

Grant aid will be paid retrospectively, on submission of paid invoices.

Should the full funding for the Scheme not be taken up at this time, or should other funds become available to any scheme, a further round of applications may be held.

Minimum/Maximum Grant Payable for Amenity Grant Scheme:

A grant in excess of €3,800 will be given only where the applicants are or constitute themselves a legal entity, e.g. a company under the Companies Acts, a Co-operative Society, a Friendly Society, Trustees, etc. The maximum grant for any one project will be €6,348 in any one year.

General Conditions

The following conditions will generally apply for the receipt of a grant under the scheme:-

  • The proposed development shall comply, if applicable, with all requirements in relation to Planning, Building Regulations and Fire Codes.
  • Applicants will be required to provide evidence of their financial standing and their ability to manage any facility provided on implementation of their proposal. Evidence of title to site and evidence that all necessary statutory and other approvals are in place must be submitted with the application.
  • Changes to the project, as described in the original application, must be agreed in writing with the Council in advance. Failure to do so may jeopardize the payment of grant aid.
  • The grant will be reduced in the event of actual costs on completion of the project being less than the original estimate.
  • The facilities to be provided shall be available for the use and enjoyment of the general public or particular groups at all reasonable times either free of charge or subject to moderate charges.
  • If the project is not successfully completed, the Council will insist on repayment of any grant monies paid.
  • Should the development be sold by the Organisation for profit within five years from the date of the Council’s contribution, the Council will insist on repayment of any grant monies paid from the proceeds of the sale.
  • Grants must be taken up as follows:-
  • Amenity Grant Scheme: within two years of notification by the Council to the applicant of allocation of the grant. The works must be completed.


Selection Criteria

The criteria which will be applied by Cork County Council when assessing applications are:

  • The Council will endeavour to ensure that the available funds are dispersed around the county as equitably as possible.
  • Projects must not compete with privately run projects of similar type and serving the same catchment/market.
  • The extent to which the proposed actions relate to an identified need and are likely to bring direct benefit to the priority areas/ groups.
  • The extent to which the actions incorporate sound community development practices and principles.
  • The capacity of applicants to implement the proposal.
  • The extent to which the proposed expenditure is complementary and additional to current statutory support (i.e. that it will not become a substitute for existing funding).
  • The local contribution towards the project (in terms of finance, time, personal commitment, other in-kind contributions).

Acceptance of Grant Offer

  • A legally binding agreement must be entered into between the Council and the body receiving the grant, dealing with the conditions of the grant.
  • Any grant offer must be accepted in writing within 3 months of notification of the grant offer. Grant offers will lapse in the absence of such acceptance.
  • The applicant must comply with Tax Clearance procedures.
  • Progress reports and statements of expenditure may periodically be required for larger projects.
  • Before final payment, the County Council may require a site inspection to ascertain that all work has been carried out.

Drawing down grants:
The maximum level of grant aid payable under the Scheme to any applicant from Cork County Council is 75%. Therefore, a minimum contribution of 25% is required from local Communities. Invoices and receipts to the value of 125% of the amount of the grant must be submitted when claiming payment of the grant monies.

Tax Clearance Procedures

Grants under €650:
No tax clearance needed.

Grants from €650 to €6,500:
The group will be required to supply a tax reference number & name of tax district dealing with their affairs.
The group will be required to sign a statement indicating that the organisation’s tax affairs are in order.

Indemnity

All buildings must be covered by a fire insurance policy, which fully indemnifies Cork County Council.

Applicants will be required to indemnify the Council against all and any claims arising from its involvement with the project.

Applicants should have appropriate Public Liability Insurance and, where necessary, Employers Liability Insurance and should ensure that any Contractor employed by them has an adequate level of cover. While the Council does not require copies of these insurances, this does not exempt the firms or groups from their insurance requirements, nor does it exempt the group which is receiving the Council grant from its responsibility to ensure the works and groups/firms carrying out the works are adequately insured.


Public Acknowledgement of Council’s Contribution

The applicant is to publicly acknowledge the Council’s contribution towards the amenity, details to be submitted to this office, and the Mayor of the County of Cork or nominee of the Mayor should be involved in any official opening of the amenity, so as to reflect the Council’s involvement.


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