A total of 30 projects across Clare received total funding of €60,265 under the Community Enhancement Programme in 2020, local TD Joe Carey has announced.

It is part of a €7 million fund that has been made available to over 3,000 projects nationally through the 2020 Community Enhancement Programme (CEP).

Deputy Carey confirmed 30 community groups in Clare would benefit from the funding. These include 11 Mens and Womens Shed groups across the county, the Michael Cusack Centre (€24,709), Clare Youth Services (€7,429), Clare Local Development Company (€2,800) and the Ennis Schools Completion Project (€4,606).  

The local Fine Gael TD said: “The Community Enhancement Programme is designed to support community groups. Last year the programme was focused on meeting the challenges of the pandemic in 2020. For example it could be used for the development of COVID-19 compliant play areas for children. It was also designed to help with the purchase of COVID-19 related equipment to facilitate the reopening and upgrade of community premises, as well as the purchase of equipment to maintain community gardens and areas. It could also be used to purchase items like marquees, heaters, IT and other equipment to facilitate social distancing.

“Groups who wish to apply this year should contact their Local Community Development Committee (LCDC) for details when the 2021 CEP is launched later this year,” the Clarecastle-based TD added.

Minister for Rural and Community Development Heather Humphreys added: “The Community Enhancement Programme has supported a varied and wide-ranging list of projects in every county of Ireland across 2020.

“The Programme shows how relatively small amounts of funding can make a big difference to communities and organisations that carry out really important work.

“If we’ve learned anything in recent months, as we’ve coped with this pandemic, it’s the importance of our small community groups. They have gone above and beyond in 2020 and I am delighted as Minister to support them.

 “I am delighted that an additional €5 million was secured as part of the July Stimulus for community centres which is making a big difference across the country.”