I am delighted to announced the launch of the €5 million CLÁR scheme for 2020.
This is a very important scheme for Rural Ireland and I am urging Galway community groups, schools, clubs and health organisations to apply for funding.
CLÁR is part of a €30 million package of schemes for Rural Ireland being launched by my department, the Department of Rural and Community Development this week and it is specifically aimed at areas of population decline.
It is a great opportunity for community services and facilities that need support and has provided vital investment for rural areas.
Last year successful CLÁR funding in Galway East included more than €68,000 towards the cost of an accessible vehicle for the Irish Wheelchair Association, €50,000 for an accessible vehicle for the Galway Hospice, €50,000 for car parking and footpaths at Brownesgrove National School, Tuam, €45,000 for footpaths and public lighting for St Colman’s Trust in Gort and nearly €14,000 towards a sensory garden in Lawrencetown.
These are the kind of initiatives and projects that make all the difference to local communities.
The three measures being funded under the 2020 CLÁR programme are:
Measure 1: Schools/Community Safety measures
Measure 2: Community Recreation Areas
Measure 3: Community Wellbeing Supports, comprising meals on wheels and linked services; and mobility and cancer care Transport.
The inclusion of community recreation areas and meals on wheels and related services are new for 2020.
The scope of the scheme has been expanded and adapted to take account of the COVID-19 crisis. The measure for schools and community groups will include projects aimed at health and safety requirements that has arisen because of the coronavirus.
The funding for community recreational areas will be important in supporting compliance with the Government’s roadmap for easing restrictions while meal services will need to adapt to public hygiene guidelines around the handling and preparation of food.
I acknowledge the support of my ministerial colleague Michael Ring TD for these measures.
He has also introduced a standard grant rate of up to 90% of the total cost of CLÁR projects this year.
This should ensure that the scheme’s requirement on communities or Local Authorities to source match funding is kept to a minimum.