Community Services Programme (CSP)

The Community Services Programme (CSP) supports community companies and co-operatives to deliver local social, economic and environmental services that tackle disadvantage by providing a co-funding contribution towards the cost of employing a manager and full-time equivalent (FTE) positions.

The CSP is based on a social enterprise model, whereby community companies and co-operatives are expected to generate a traded income from the delivery of services, which in turn can co-fund the cost of employment, and cover other overheads associated with the delivery of services.

Funded by the Department of Rural and Community Development and administered by Pobal, the CSP supports approximately 400 community companies and co-operatives at any given time.

CSP funded services are found in disadvantaged communities where public and private sector services are lacking, for example, due to geographical or social isolation, or because of demand deficits (i.e. where demand is not being met by existing services).

The objectives of the programme are to:

  • Promote social enterprise as an approach to alleviating disadvantage and addressing local social, economic and environmental needs which are not being met through public or private funding or other resources
  • Create sustainable jobs for those most distant from the labour market, in particular for those who are long term unemployed and from specific target groups
  • Promote sustainable social and economic development.
  • Enable service providers to lever additional public investment to improve facilities and services
  • Strengthen local ownership through participation in decision making
  • Support social innovation and encourage sharing of learning and expertise between participating service providers

The CSP funding model is expressed as a fixed annual co-funding contribution towards the costs of employing a manager and/or a specified number of full time equivalent positions (FTEs). The co-funding contribution towards employing each Full-Time Equivalent position (“FTEs”) is €19,033 per annum. Where the CSP contributes to the cost of employing a manager, this amounts to €32,000 co-funding per annum.

CSP funded community companies and co-operatives fall under one of the following categories within the programme. Those who:

  • Operate community halls and facilities (CSP Strand 1)
  • Provide services to local, regional and national geographical communities or communities of interest, especially to disadvantaged communities (CSP Strand 2)
  • Operate social enterprises that provide employment for specific disadvantaged groups namely Travellers, people with disabilities, ex-prisoners and recovering drug mis-users (CSP Strand 3)