Community Services Programme

What is the Community Services Programme

The Community Services Programme (CSP) supports community businesses to provide local services and create employment opportunities for disadvantaged people.

It gives financial support to community companies and co-operatives to help with the cost of hiring staff.

The programme focuses on communities where public and private sector services are lacking, either through geographical or social isolation or because of low levels of demand.

The Community Services Programme is managed for the Department of Rural and Community Development by Pobal.

What funding is available?

Funding is provided to community organisations to help with the cost of hiring an agreed number of workers and a manager.

The programme gives €19,033 for every full-time worker and €32,000 for a manager working a 39-hour week.

You can get more information about funding for local community staff.

Information about the Community Services Programme is available on the Pobal website and on

Types of projects funded?

Applicants must be not-for-profit social enterprises or community businesses with capacity to deliver services and manage staff.

They must also have enough financial resources and ability to generate adequate revenue and prepare a business plan.

There are 3 main types of project funded under the Programme:

  • Community services for disadvantaged people, for example: home insulation, disability transport, meals-on-wheels and centre-based day care and social activities, personal security and visitation services, community radio and other forms of community media
  • Community enterprises employing people with disabilities, Travellers, recovering drug misusers or ex-prisoners. The employing company or co-op must operate as a social enterprise and demonstrate some form of progression of the workers
  • Community halls and facilities available for community use which enable the day-to-day operation of community infrastructure

Organisations that qualify

The CSP supports legally incorporated community organisations. These are social enterprises or community businesses providing local social, economic and environmental services through a social enterprise model.

To qualify for funding, organisations must operate on a not-for-profit basis. They must also recruit unemployed people to work in the projects. In general, 70% of employees in projects funded under the Programme must be from the following groups:

  • Unemployed people in receipt of Jobseeker’s Benefit, Jobseeker’s Allowance or One-Parent Family Payment
  • People in receipt of Disability Allowance, Invalidity Pension or Blind Person’s Pension or other disability payment
  • Travellers in receipt of Jobseeker’s Benefit, Jobseeker’s Allowance or One-Parent Family Payment
  • Ex-prisoners
  • Stabilised and recovering drug misusers
  • People employed from Tús, Community Employment (CE), Job Initiative schemes, as well as Rural Social Scheme workers who are former CE participants

How to apply

If you are a social enterprise interested in joining CSP, you can download an expression of interest form from the Department of Rural and Community Development and send it to

You can get more information on the CSP (pdf) and how to apply on the Pobal website.

Unlike Community Employment (CE) schemes, the organisation itself employs people and anyone looking for employment opportunities should contact the organisation directly.

Where to apply


Holbrook House
Holles Street
Dublin 2
D02 EY84

Tel: (01) 511 7000
Fax: (01) 511 7981
Page edited: 28 July 2022