Community groups and schools in Meath/Westmeath should apply for CLÁR funding- English

Tuesday, 4th April 2017

Community groups and schools in Meath/Westmeath should apply for CLÁR
funding- English

Damien English T.D., Minister for Housing and Urban Renewal and Fine
Gael T.D. for Meath West, has called on community groups and schools
in Meath and Westmeath 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.

Grants are available 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 English said: “I would strongly encourage community groups
and schools in Meath and Westmeath 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.

“Applications must be made through our local authority so I would
encourage groups and schools with an idea or project proposal to make
contact with Meath or Westmeath County Councils.”

Minister English 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.”

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 which was a
huge loss to rural communities.

CLÁR forms part of a suite of measures introduced by Fine Gael to
support our rural communities. Other important schemes such as the
Rural Recreation programme and Town and Village Renewal Scheme will
also open for applications shortly.

These funding streams are an important part of the Action Plan for
Rural Development, Realising Our Rural Potential, which was launched
by Minister Heather Humphreys in January 2017.

The Plan provides a framework for a co-ordinated approach across
Government to support the economic and social development of rural
Ireland.

ENDS

Note to Editors

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.

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