Numerous rural communities in County Westmeath and South Roscommon will benefit from funding announced under the CLÁR programme, as part of the Government’s ‘Our Rural Future’ policy for rural development.
The funding, administered by Minister Heather Humphreys and the Department of Rural Affairs, will support sports clubs, schools, local development associations relevant groups in developing facilities which will benefit people of all ages in rural communities.
The community of Rosemount has received €50,000 towards the upgrade of public lighting, while a similar amount has been allocated towards the development of a multi-purpose games area at Tang National School for use by all members of the community.
Ballymore GAA has been afforded €50,000 towards the construction of a new astro turf facility and fencing on the grounds of the local GAA club while the community centre in the village also receives €50,000 towards the development of a new car park.
Welcoming the news, local Fine Gael Minister of State, Deputy Peter Burke, noted that the funding allocations was a testament to the hours of work that is afforded to community groups involvement and making applications for grant funding.
“I am delighted to confirm this morning that five local groups are set to benefit from €250,000 as part of Measure 1 of the CLAR scheme. I have worked with my colleague Councillor Tom Farrell on many of these projects and I am glad to see they have been supported.
“Ballymore Community Centre will be now in a position to provide a carpark at the community centre, there will be a multipurpose games area provided at Tang NS for use by the whole community and new Astro and fencing at Ballymore GAA, while the community of Rosemount will benefit from increased and upgraded public lighting.
“These projects will mean these communities and school areas are kept safer for locals and residents to enjoy.
“The CLÁR scheme is wide ranging, and only rural areas which have experienced depopulation and certain levels of deprivation are eligible, which means the communities that need the most support are targeted. Minister Michael Ring when he was in this portfolio re-opened the scheme after it was shelved just after the recession. CLÁR aims to support sustainable development in identified areas by attracting people to live and work there.
“This is measure 1 which provides support for schools and community safety measures. Further rounds of the scheme will be announced later in the summer and these will include funding for outdoor community recreation facilities and community wellbeing measures which include community gardens and allotments as well as mobility, cancer care and first responder transport
“If you think your community could be in a CLAR area, I have a map in my office or can forward it to you by email so you can check. These grants are a great resource for communities and Minister Humphreys continues to increase the grant opportunities year on year,” Deputy Burke asserted.
Deputy Burke’s thoughts were echoed by those of his Government colleague, Deputy Troy, who noted that the funding announced puts the needs of rural communities first.
“The Government is talking a ground-up approach to rural development. Every community is different and the people living in the towns and villages across rural Ireland know what their community needs the most. This programme and funding announced today puts the needs of rural communities first.
“I was pleased to work with some of these groups to submit their applications for funding and I hope this new funding will make our communities across Westmeath even more attractive places to work, live and raise a family,” Deputy Troy stated.
Meanwhile, in South Roscommon, an allocation of €25,926 has been awarded to Moore Community Hall which will enable the provision of disability car parking spaces and create an outdoor space.
Noting the transformation which has taken place at Moore Community Hall in recent times, local Fine Gael Senator, Aisling Dolan, noted the local voluntary group was planning an official opening in due course following conclusion of relevant works.
“Moore Community Council has transformed the hall in the last few years making it a hub of activity with plays and musical acts playing over the past few months. This programme of refurbishment including funding from EU LEADER, Just Transition and Roscommon County Council will develop the centre for education and training as well as a digital hub.
“It is a source of pride in the local community and I’m happy to see €25,000 now allocated under CLÁR to continue these works for disability car parking and outdoor spaces. The team including Carmel Scott, Valerie Duffy and Pat Feehily recently met with Minister Heather Humphreys and highlighted the impact of voluntary groups in the local community. Moore Community Hall and chairperson Willie Naughton are planning an official opening later in September and it will be a great cause for celebration,” Senator Dolan enthused.