Fine Gael, Kildare South TD, Martin Heydon has encouraged local youth clubs to apply for grants under a new €1.17 million fund announced by the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr Katherine Zappone.

“This year’s Local Youth Club Grant Scheme will see €102,624 allocated to the Kildare and Wicklow Education and Training Board (KWETB) for local volunteer led youth groups.

“Youth groups and clubs across Kildare will soon be able to apply to the KWETB for funding under this scheme.

“Youth clubs are part of the fabric of communities here in Kildare and must be supported.  “Thanks to our recovering economy, the Government was able to increase this year’s funding for youth clubs by 10%. Fine Gael is determined to ensure that we target the benefits of our economic recovery at those who need it most.

“When we support youth groups, the whole community can benefit. The aim is to enhance the lives of our young people by developing their skills and talents and harnessing their energy in a positive way. This of course also benefits the wider communities in which these young people live.

“The scheme is open to approximately 1,600 youth groups and clubs, with an estimated 90,000 club members around the country.  So I strongly encourage Kildare groups and clubs to apply for this funding to ensure that our local communities can benefit.

“This year the Scheme is open to new clubs and applicants which have not benefitted in the past. So this could be a great opportunity for a new group to grow and expand. I encourage clubs and groups to apply, no matter how new or small they are.

“Each ETB will be advertising the scheme locally and on their website in the coming months. So I encourage all Kildare youth groups to keep an eye out and get their applications ready.”