Michael Ring TD, Minister of State for Regional Economic Development, today announced the reopening of the CLÁR Programme which provides funding for small scale infrastructural projects in disadvantaged rural areas that have experienced significant levels of depopulation. The reopening of the CLÁR Programme is part of the Government’s programme for Rural Development which has also recently seen the launch of the Towns and Village Renewal Scheme, a new phase of the REDZ (Rural Economic Development Zones) initiative, and funding for rural recreation infrastructure under the Rural Recreation scheme.
CLÁR 2016 will see funding provided for three measures, Safety Measures for Schools and Community/Sports facilities, playgrounds and multi-use games areas (MUGA) and Local Access Roads. All funding will be dependent on Local Authorities having the capacity to implement the proposed projects immediately.
On reopening the programme the Minister said:
“The Safety Measures for Schools and Community/Sports facilities will provide funding for small scale works such as safety lights, signage, speed ramps and road markings. Such works are a critical component of a safe and secure community, particularly for children and young people as they go to school and avail of after school activities in community and sporting facilities. CLÁR funding will help to ensure that all that can be done is being done to prevent accidents, making the environment surrounding such facilities as safe as possible”
The minister added:
“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 Local Access Roads measure will provide funding to upgrade and repair local access roads to amenity areas such as beaches, trails, lakes, sports facilities and other public areas.
The Minister confirmed €3M for the Programme which will be distributed to Local Authorities based on outlined need and compatibility with already published development plans for each area. The Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs will be contacting relevant Local Authorities in the coming days with the details of the scheme and any queries can be directed to CLAR@ahg.gov.ie