Longford/Westmeath Fine Gael TD Peter Burke and Minister for Rural & Community Development, Michael Ring TD
Funding of €551,559 will be made available for Longford through his Department’s Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme (SICAP).
Fine Gael TD for Longford/Westmeath Peter Burke confirmed the news this morning.
“This support which will make a real difference to disadvantaged people and pockets in Longford. The SICAP funding is extremely targeted and supports life-long learning and helping the unemployed to become job ready," commented Deputy Burke.
He added, “SICAP is administered by Pobal and overseen at a community level by the Local Community Development Committees. In Longford, it has a proven track record of helping disadvantaged people to make real progress in their lives.
“The programme supports unemployed people; people living in all areas; people with disabilities; single parent families; those on low income and other disadvantaged groups.
“Schemes like this are extremely important as we try to make sure the benefits of our buoyant economy are felt by everyone.
“Significantly, employment has increased, and unemployment has decreased in Longford but there is further progress to be made to get Longford unemployment levels closer to the national average and approaching what is classed as “full employment”. This targeted money will do just that. Even during the boom years, when employment was considered “full”, there were people who were experiencing long term unemployment due to a variety of reasons and barriers. These are the people the Government needs to target, to support and to assist in the jobs market as we have more money again to distribute.
“This announcement demonstrates the Government’s commitment to providing funding to tackle poverty and social exclusion at a local level for the next five years up to 2022. SICAP provides support to those who need it most in all corners of Ireland, from inner city Dublin and across rural Ireland. The half a million euro will go far in Longford and is much needed and deserved.
"Individuals and groups can visit their Local Development Company to receive the support they need. The programme is a great example of local engagement working well within the framework of a national programme."