Southside Partnership DLR, a member of the Irish Local Development Network (ILDN), has today, Tuesday, 23rd February, welcomed the announcement by Minister for Rural & Community Development Heather Humphreys TD, of an €800,000 COVID-19 Social Enterprise Regeneration Programme, funded by her Department to be administered by the ILDN.  The fund will resource Local Development Companies (LDCs) and LDC consortia to provide supports to social enterprises in communities as they emerge from the challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.  

ILDN is the representative body for Ireland’s Local Development Companies (LDCs) such as Southside Partnership DLR. These 49 not-for-profit groups are building inclusive, vibrant communities and better life chances for people in every part of Ireland.  With 2,100 employees on the ground, supporting 15,000 community groups and 170,000 individuals through €300+ million of programmes, each year, the ILDN membership is the largest Community Development/Anti-Poverty Network in the state and perfectly placed to deliver the COVID-19 Social Enterprise Regeneration Programme on behalf of the Department of Rural & Community Development (DRCD). 

Welcoming the Programme, Cormac Shaw, CEO of Southside Partnership DLR said;  “The scheme, which is funded by the DRCD through the Dormant Accounts Fund (DAF), will provide grants of up to €80k to provide free training and mentoring to social enterprise managers, directors and staff across the country, with a particular focus on strategic planning, digital innovation, capacity building and governance.  It will assist social enterprises to strengthen their operations, to repurpose or diversify their trading income while living in a COVID-19 operating environment.  ILDN, with its extensive network of LDCs, offices and personnel in Communities across the Country, is well placed to deliver this important Programme to Social Enterprises Nationwide.”

Joe Saunders, CEO of ILDN said; “I warmly welcome the continuation and strengthening of the relationship between DRCD and the ILDN Social Enterprise Working Group.  It is a significant vote of confidence in the capacity of the ILDN, on behalf of the Department to award the administration of the Programme to the ILDN and reflective of the unique positioning of the Network, its track-record and learnings from its administration of the 2019/2020 Small Capital Grants Pilot scheme. 

ILDN members administer the LEADER programme and the Social Inclusion Community Activation Programme (SICAP) across the Country which allows Local Development Companies support Social Enterprises nationwide. The COVID-19 Social Enterprise Regeneration Fund is a welcome addition to the supports being provided by ILDN members at present.