Local groups in the county have been encouraged to apply for the 2020 CLÁR Programme, which has a total fund of €5 million and is designed to help rural communities respond to the challenge of COVID-19.
The programme can be used for small scale infrastructural projects in rural communities where there have been significant levels of population decline and has been tailored to help communities to deal with the COVID-19 crisis.
East Galway TD Ciarán Cannon has urged local community groups in Galway to apply.
“All the details they will need, including the application forms, are available at https://www.gov.ie/en/policy-information/91ba52-clar,” said Minister Cannon.
The CLÁR Programme was launched in 2016 and has supported over 1,400 projects nationally with funding of almost €33 million.
“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,” explained the Fine Gael TD.
“The other elements of the programme to be opened 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.
“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 Schools and Community Safety Measure, which funds items such as pedestrian crossings and footpaths to provide safe access to schools, has been broadened to allow additional investments to adapt areas around schools and community facilities to help meet new public health requirements.
“Funding will be provided under a new measure for community recreational areas where friends and families can socialise outdoors in safe, accessible, community spaces while respecting public health guidelines,” added Minister Cannon.
“This measure will include support for items 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, in line with the Government’s Roadmap for Reopening Society and Business.
“Community organisations providing meals on wheels and other community services will also be supported to purchase kitchen or food delivery equipment.
“They can also access funds for any adaptations that may be necessary to their existing vehicles as a result of new public health guidelines.”