Almost a quarter of a million euros in funding has been granted for CLÁR projects in County Westmeath.
In total, County Westmeath has received €214,280 in CLÁR funding, of which €147,000 has been allocated for safety packages for schools and community facilities, to include pedestrian crossings, children crossing signs, flashing lights, and improved road markings.
Among the communities to benefit from these safety features are Ballymore, Tang, and Streamstown at €22,000 each.
A further €67,000 has been granted to improve local access roads in Westmeath, including €6,480 for Drumraney for an access road to old graveyard.
Independent Deputy Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran has welcomed the allocation of funding for key projects in rural Westmeath under the programme, which provides funding for small-scale infrastructural projects in disadvantaged rural areas that have experienced significant levels of depopulation.
“The delivery of the CLÁR programme is part of the Government’s strong commitment to rural Ireland which has also recently seen the benefit of €10m investment in a Town and Village Renewal Scheme, a new €5m phase of the REDZ initiative, and further funding for rural recreation infrastructure under the Rural Recreation Scheme.
“Rural development remains a key concern of mine. Such funding is vital for small towns and villages in rural Ireland as it helps to create an attractiveness for further social and economic growth. By creating a positive image, rural Ireland can position itself for future opportunities.”
In total, €8.24 million in funding is to go to 651 projects across the country, with the allocation announced by Michael Ring, Minister of State for Regional Economic Development last week.
Fine Gael Deputy Peter Burke also welcomed the funding, saying: “Initially the Minsiter had allocated €3million for the scheme but he was able to secure increased funding once it became apparent that there was significant demand on the ground for these types of projects.
“It is important that issues such as safety at schools and community centres and the development of amenities for young people in rural areas are addressed. It is also important that communities are able to access the natural resources in their area for their own health and social benefit and to offer attractive options to visitors to the area.”