Cllr Hazel Smyth.

€1.6m Community Recognition Fund 'will be a major aid to local organisations' - Smyth

The news that Westmeath County Council has been allocated over €1.6m to support communities that are hosting citizens from Ukraine and other countries has been welcomed by the Mayor of Mullingar Kinnegad Municipal District, Cllr Hazel Smyth.

The €1.6m is part of a new €50m initiative, the Community Recognition Fund, announced today by Minister Heather Humphreys and Minster of State Joe O'Brien.

It will be used to support a range of projects such as: the refurbishment of local sports clubs and facilities; the upgrade of community facilities such as play areas, walkways, parks and community gardens; the purchase of equipment to benefit local clubs, festivals, music and arts organisations; the enhancement of school or parish facilities that are open to the wider community after hours or on weekends; transport infrastructure such as community vehicles and bus shelters.

The €50 million has been allocated nationally to all local authorities and will be based on the number of new arrivals.

Cllr Smyth says she is “delighted to see communities across Ireland get recognition and support for the crucial work they have done”.

“The people of Westmeath have opened their homes to the Ukrainian people in their time of need and it is fantastic that this generosity is being supported. This funding will be a major aid to local organisations from sports clubs to community groups, from schools to transport.”