2 November 2020
By Tom Collins
Cork Senator Tim Lombard has confirmed €72,244 in CLÁR funding has been allocated to West Cork to support the provision of safety measures around schools and community facilities, as well as the development of community recreation areas.
CLÁR provides funding for small scale projects in designated rural areas that have experienced significant levels of population decline. The programme is one element of the Department of Rural and Community Development’s Rural Development Investment Programme, which provides a package of co-ordinated and complementary supports for rural areas.
Speaking of the allocation, Senator Lombard said,
“The 2020 CLÁR programme places a particular focus on supporting communities to deal with the impact of Covid-19 and meeting the needs of communities in these challenging times.
“Bantry Church Community has been allocated €29,700 for their car park upgrade project, while Scoil an Chroi Ro Naofa, Castletownbere will receive €42,544.91 for the provision of outdoor classroom and seating.
“I am delighted with this funding allocation for west Cork; the projects announced today will help to improve safety in our communities and help people to socialise in a safe and socially-distanced manner.
“The CLÁR programme supports rural areas that have suffered high levels of population decline. It is particularly important at this time that we provide people living in those areas with the infrastructure that will help them to stay in touch with each other, within the parameters of the public health guidelines at any given time.”
Further announcements under Measure 3 of the CLÁR programme are expected in the coming weeks.
What is CLÁR?
The CLÁR (Ceantair Laga Árd-Riachtanais) programme is funded by the Department of Rural and Community Development and forms part of the Department’s Rural Development Investment Programme, which also includes supports under the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund, LEADER, the Town and Village Renewal Scheme, the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme and the Local Improvement Scheme. These schemes have a combined budget of almost €150 million this year.
CLÁR is a targeted investment programme for rural areas that aims to provide funding for small projects in areas that have experienced significant depopulation in the past. The aim of CLÁR is to support the sustainable development of identified CLÁR areas with the aim of maintaining the population of those areas. There are designated CLÁR areas in all counties with the exception of Dublin, Kildare and Wexford.
CLÁR funding works in conjunction with local funding and on the basis of locally identified priorities. Originally launched in 2001 but closed for applications in 2009, the CLÁR Programme was reintroduced in 2016.
The 2020 CLÁR programme was launched in May 2020 with applications invited under three separate Measures:
- Measure 1: Support for Schools/Community Safety Measures
- Measure 2: Community Recreation Areas (new for 2020)
- Measure 3: Community Wellbeing Support