Aid of up to €30,000 for municipalities at risk of depopulation

Almería will receive 338,907.73 euros.

Andalusian municipalities with less than 20,000 inhabitants at risk of depopulation have until 11 July to apply for grants of up to 30,000 euros from the Regional Ministry of Justice, Local Administration and Public Function to purchase equipment and machinery necessary for the provision of services, reform and improve public infrastructure, develop local development plans or promote actions that boost economic activity and job creation in strategic sectors of the area taking advantage of its endogenous variables.

The BOJA has published today the call for this line of subsidies (https://juntadeandalucia.es/boja/2023/120/2), endowed with a total of 2,575,000 euros, with which tomorrow will open a period of 15 calendar days to submit applications. Local councils must do so exclusively by telematic means through the Regional Ministry’s Virtual Office (https://juntadeandalucia.es/organismos/justiciaadministracionlocalyfuncionpublica/servicios/procedimientos/detalle/24451.html).

These funds are granted on a competitive basis and, in addition to the number of inhabitants, the unemployment rate or the income of the local entity, objective criteria of risk of depopulation such as population density, demographic and vegetative growth in the last ten years or the ageing index will be assessed.

The planned appropriation will be distributed among the eight provinces as follows: Almería will receive 338,907.73 euros; 139,755.77 euros have been set aside for Cádiz; Córdoba will receive 258,548.17 euros; while Granada will receive the largest amount, 600,949.79 euros, as it is the Andalusian province with the largest number of municipalities, many of them small in mountainous areas such as Las Alpujarras, which are affected by depopulation.

Huelva has been allocated 258,548.17 euros; and Jaén has been allocated 349,389.42 euros, the second largest amount, as it is also one of the provinces with the most depopulation problems. Finally, Malaga will receive 310,956.58 euros and Seville 317,944.37.

However, if in some of the provinces the maximum credit allocated is not exhausted, it will be allocated to applications from other territories that could not be met, respecting their order of evaluation.

The aim is to help the smaller municipalities to fix the population in the territory, within the framework of the ‘Strategy for the Demographic Challenge of Andalusia’, which seeks a more balanced distribution.

Currently, Andalusia is still the most populated autonomous community and is still growing, but more than half of the citizens live in 30 capitals and large cities, while 90% of the territory is rural and 43% live in rural areas. Areas such as the Costa del Sol or the Guadalquivir Valley are growing at a very fast pace, with the consequent increase in the demand for services, while 54% of the municipalities have been losing inhabitants for decades, most of them in inland regions.

The Regional Ministry of Justice, Local Administration and Public Administration is immersed in a strategy to enhance the quality of life and opportunities offered by the rural environment in order to fix the population to the territory and attract new inhabitants interested in this way of life. With this line of subsidies, the Andalusian Regional Government helps municipalities of less than 20,000 inhabitants to maintain the quality of their public services and infrastructures and to develop programmes that encourage economic activities specific to the area to generate business and employment opportunities.

Last year, 116 local entities benefited from this aid and used the resources for projects such as the refurbishment of former teachers’ and doctors’ houses to be used as rural accommodation or warehouses to be made available to local entrepreneurs, to equip children’s playgrounds or socio-cultural and sports facilities for local residents, to purchase trucks for cleaning and maintenance services or to refurbish municipal facilities where public services are provided.

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