External Funding Streams Currently Open:

Cork County Countil Covid 19 Emergency Fund

Cork County Council is inviting applications from community and voluntary groups for funding under the Covid 19 Emergency Fund.

This is the third tranche of this scheme for Cork County, which is funded by the Department of Rural and Community Development and aims to provide a flexible and targeted approach to funding communities most in need.  Some examples of applications include;

  • Adapting services and operations to fit the new Covid 19 reality, e.g. allowing for changes to premises to provide for social distancing, funding for on-line activities and provision of critical social supports.
  • Assisting communities in their participation in the Government’s ‘Keep Well’ campaign which focusses on the themes of staying connected, switching off and being creative and minding your mood.
  • Support to Community and Voluntary groups involved in the Community Call.

There are two types of grants available under the programme, grants up to a maximum of €1,000 and grants in excess of €1,000.

Guide to Making an Application

Read Press Release

Closing date: Friday 5th February at 4pm.


Cork County Council Arts Funding 2021

Cork County Council has announced details of its 2021 funding for the Arts. Within its general call for proposals, there are four strands available including the Arts Grant Scheme, the Artists in Schools Scheme and Irish Language Arts, as well as Artists’ Funding Schemes, which are open to solely to practising artists and include the Artists’ Creative Bursary, International Touring and Exhibition, the Tyrone Guthrie Centre Bursary and the Ballinglen Arts Foundation Bursary.

The Council funding supports a wide range of arts activity, including opportunities for arts organizations, festivals, community groups, schools and artists seeking funding for projects in the coming year.

Specially targeted funding strands will support the development of arts through the Irish Language, artists working in schools and a set of support schemes for professional artists of all disciplines, to include funding for new work, develop international opportunities or for time for reflection and new work.

Guide to Making an Application

 Closing date: Friday 22nd January at 5pm.


Municipal District Community Fund Scheme 2021

The scheme is administered locally by the Council’s eight Municipal Districts and provides financial assistance to a wide variety of community, sporting and voluntary organizations under three distinctive fund types; the Capital Fund, Community Contract and the Amenity Fund. Each year, these funding schemes support a range of projects and initiatives, such as supporting the work of Tidy Towns groups and Community Associations, as well as providing much-needed assistance for local infrastructural works and sports and leisure facilities.

Guide to Making an Application  

Guidelines for The 2021 Community Fund Scheme

Closing Date: Friday 19 February 2021 at 4pm.


Irish Hospice Foundation Seed Grant Scheme

The Seed Grant Scheme aims to inspire and support creative responses to the themes of dying, death and bereavement during the COVID-19 pandemic. Seed Grants are to support groups, organizations and individuals in exploring creative ways to do this. Priority will be given to creative initiatives that take innovative approaches to reflection and remembrance.

Awards are in the region of €500 - €1,000 per project and IHF hopes to offer between 10 and 15 awards. Seed Grants are intended to support the work of those involved in the community; therefore a key requirement for the receipt of a grant is that the level of funding must be matched by the community group, organization or individual either in cash or in kind. 

Seed Grant Application Form

Seed Grant Criteria

Closing Date: Friday 29 January 2021 at 5pm. 

Farm Health, Safety & Wellbeing Projects

The European Innovation Partnership (IEP) has issued a call for innovative farm health, safety and wellbeing projects. The funding will provide €1m to explore new and innovative ways of dealing with Farm Safety challenges within the sector. The EIP model is built on a collaborative approach between stakeholders to trial new and innovative approaches and ideas.

Stage 1 requires a short application outlining the main elements of the proposed project.

Apply for Stage 1

Closing date for Stage 1: Friday, January 29th 2021. 

Funding to Strengthen Development & Growth of Community Work

The funding will support the work of the All Ireland Endorsement Body for Community Work Education and Training (AIEB) between 2020 and 2022. The funding will support the future growth and development of community work in Ireland.

The AIEB, established in 2010, is an all Ireland body for supporting and promoting community development and also ensures quality and standards in community development practice. The AIEB is hosted and supported by Community Work Ireland, the national community development organisation, and is independent and autonomous of education providers and institutions.

Read Press Release


COVID-19 supports for community and voluntary groups

The funding will enable groups to embrace the Government’s ‘Keep Well’ campaign which focusses on the themes of staying connected, switching off and being creative, and minding your mood.

The funding will be used to assist the local community and voluntary groups to adapt to COVID-19, for example:

  • Allow for changes to premises to provide for social distancing;
  • Funding for on-line activities;
  • Provision of critical social supports.

Local Community Development Committees (LCDCs) will now administer the funding to groups in each area. Groups should check with their LCDC or their Local Authority for further details.

Read Press Release


Walking and Cycling Fund for Towns and Villages Fund

The aim of this funding is to support the development of high-quality cycling and walking infrastructure outside of our cities, specifically targeted at towns and villages across the country.

Local authority applicants should identify convenient and direct routes for active travel modes, including, and where necessary, aim to reallocate space from motor traffic and car parking. Funded projects should be accessible, age-friendly and maximise comfort to people of all ages and abilities.

The fund will be administered for the Department of Transport by the National Transport Authority.

Read Press Release


Sports Grant Scheme for 2021

The Sports Capital and Equipment Programme (SCEP) is the Government’s primary vehicle for providing support to sports clubs and communities to develop sports infrastructure around the country. Applications can be made online only from 9 am on Friday 11th December 2020.

The first step in obtaining a grant is to register on the Department’s Online System. The Ministers encouraged any clubs which are not already registered to do so now. Once registered, all applications must be made on the same website. 

Guide to Making an Application

Closing Date: Monday 1st March at 5pm

Built Heritage Investment Scheme 2021 and Historic Structures Fund 2021:

Built Heritage Investment Scheme 2021 is for the repair and conservation of structures that are protected under the Planning and Development Acts. Grants of between €2,500 and €15,000 are available. The Department will also continue to run the ‘micro’ grant stream introduced in 2020 for works of routine maintenance and minor repairs. The fund is administered through the local authorities. 

Built Heritage Investment Scheme 2021 Circular and Application Form

Historic Structures Fund 2021 is for conservation works to heritage structures, in both private and public ownership. The primary focus of the Historic Structures Fund is on conservation and enhancement of historic structures and buildings for the benefit of communities and the public. Grants of between €15,000 and €50,000 are available under Stream 1, and of between €50,000 and €200,000 under Stream 2.

The Historic Structures Fund 2021 includes two new pilot schemes:

  1. Vernacular Structures under which eligible owners may apply for grants of between €5,000 and €10,000.
  2. Historic Shopfronts - each local authority will be allowed to shortlist an additional project where that project concerns the conservation and repair of a historic shopfront, its glazing or signage.

Historic Structures Fund 2021 Circular and Application Form

Closing Date for both Schemes: January 29th 2021

Community Water Development Fund for 2021

The fund is administered by the Local Authority Waters Programme (LAWPRO) and is designed to encourage and support local communities to engage in the delivery of local projects and initiatives to address the major issues of water quality, biodiversity loss and climate change. The Fund is open to all community and voluntary groups. Projects can include 1. Capital projects, 2. Awareness raising and information initiatives and 3. Community benefit and amenity type projects. Grants may range from €500 to €25,000.

Online Application

Closing Date: Tuesday 9th February 2021 at 12 pm

Historic Towns Initiative (HTI) 2021

The Historic Towns Initiative (HTI) 2021 is a joint undertaking by the department and the Heritage Council. A town seeking to benefit from the Historic Towns Initiative should possess significant cultural and heritage assets and have an indicative minimum population of 1,500 inhabitants.

The HTI 2021 is open for applications from local authorities from 11 December 2020. Funding applications must be submitted via the Heritage Council’s online grants system. Funding applications must be submitted via the Heritage Council’s online grants system.

Online Application

The Heritage Council will host a workshop for local authority personnel interested in applying for the HTI 2021 via Zoom on 14 January 2021 at 10:30 am. 

Register for the Workshop

Closing Date: 5th February 2021 at 5 pm

Community Foundation for Ireland Covid-19 Response Fund:

The Fund is aimed at the immediate needs of organisations impacted by Covid-19 and supporting: people over 60; those with respiratory illnesses or cancer; people experiencing domestic abuse; isolated vulnerable people and families, particularly those in rural areas; and those with mental health issues.  Grants of €1,000 to €10,000 available.  

Closing Date: temporary closed (sign up for the newsletter to receive updates)

Other useful funding resources

Community Finance Ireland is an all-island social enterprise which provides social loan finance to the not for profit sector. 

Clann Credo provides loan finance to social enterprises and community enterprises at affordable interest and repayment rates.

The Social Innovation Fund provides grants and business supports to support social innovation and social enterprise development.

Enterprise Ireland provides grants, training and technical support for high potential start-up businesses.

Microfinance Ireland provides small loans through the Government’s Microenterprise Loan Fund to help start ups and established businesses to get the finance they need for their business.


For funding streams available through Ballyhoura Development, click here.