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Tuesday, 26th May 2020

Power urges local communities to apply for funding

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Councillor Declan Power.

Funding available for rural communities to respond to COVID-19

Independent Councillor for the Drogheda Rural constituency Declan Power is encouraging local groups to take advantage of a €5m government fund to help rural communities respond to the challenge of COVID-19.

“The Clár Programme can be used for small scale infrastructural projects in rural communities where there has been significant levels of population decline” Cllr. Power said, adding “it’s great to see the Clár Programme being adapted this year to help rural communities respond to new challenges as a result of COVID-19.”

The details of the programme were announced yesterday by the Minister for Rural and Community Development Michael Ring TD.

The measures being funded under the 2020 CLÁR programme are:

  • Schools/Community Safety measures (expanded in 2020)
  • Community Recreation Areas (new in 2020)
  • Meals on Wheels and linked services (new in 2020)
  • Mobility and Cancer Care Transport

“Since the Clár Programme reopened in 2016, it has supported over 1,400 projects nationally with funding of almost €33 million” Cllr. Power said. “It has been a significant support to communities in some of the remotest parts of the country.”

CLÁR is one element of a €30 million package of co-ordinated and complementary supports that is being launched by the Minister this week as part of his Department’s Rural Development Investment Programme.

The other elements of the programme, to be announced later this week, will be the Town and Village Renewal Scheme and the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme. The Rural Development Investment Programme is funded under Project Ireland 2040.

The introduction of other new Measures are designed to help rural communities adapt their local spaces and support interaction with one another in a safe but inclusive way, where friends and families can socialise outdoors in safe, accessible, community spaces while respecting public health guidelines.

These new measures will include supports such as picnic benches/tables, outdoor covered seating or BBQ areas, public lighting, bicycle stands, bandstand/stage areas, etc.  “These recreational areas will be particularly important for community social interaction in the coming months and in line with the Government’s Roadmap for Reopening Society and Business.

Details and application forms are available from Louth Co. Council and https://www.gov.ie/en/policy-information/91ba52-clar/

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