Minister for Employment and Small Business Pat Breen has called on community groups and schools in Clare to apply for funding through the CLÁR programme.
The programme, which has a budget of €5 million this year, forms part of the Government’s Action Plan for Rural Development which was launched in January 2017, and this year includes support for voluntary first-response organisations in rural Ireland.
“The €284,000 provided under the CLÁR 2016 funding was to 27 projects in Clare, which helped fund small infrastructural projects in rural areas that have experienced significant depopulation,” said Minister Breen.
“This programme had been effectively closed for new applications since 2009, but it was reopened by Minister Michael Ring for 2016.
“Now grants are available again for 2017 for a wide variety of works in rural areas including playgrounds, car parks, public lighting, bus shelters, pedestrian crossings, speed safety signs and other safety measures at schools.
Minister Breen said: “I would strongly encourage community groups and schools in Clare to apply for funding through the CLÁR programme.
“Funding will be made available for safety measures near schools and other community facilities, as well as funding for play areas.
“The safety measures coupled with funding for playgrounds and multi-use games areas will assist CLÁR areas to provide safe amenities for their young people thereby increasing the attractiveness of an area from both a social and economic perspective.”
“The scope of the programme will also be extended this year to provide capital funding for innovative, community based projects that do not qualify for other established schemes,” said the minister of state.
Minister Breen added, “This year my colleague Minister Ring announced a new initiative under CLÁR to support voluntary first-response organisations who provide an excellent service in rural areas, very often under very difficult circumstances.
“This funding will enable them to purchase or upgrade equipment that is fit for purpose in assisting them in their life-saving activities.”
“Applications must be made through the local authority so I would encourage groups and schools with an idea or project proposal to make contact with Clare County Council,” advised Minister Breen.
Note to Editor
This is the second round of funding Minister Ring has announced, having re-opened the CLÁR programme last October. The programme had been closed for new applications by Fianna Fáil in 2009
Please find attached (to email) details of 2016 CLÁR funding in Clare.
The scheme is funded by the Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs and delivered, for the most part, by the Local Authorities in consultation with local communities. Proposals will be submitted to the Department for consideration and approval.
Full details of the scheme will be issued to the Local Authorities and other relevant organisations in the coming days.