Funding of up to €200,000 is available for towns and villages in Clare through this year’s Town and Village Renewal Scheme.

And Clare Fine Gael TD Joe Carey is calling on local community groups to avail of the fund to finance projects to make the county’s towns and villages more attractive places in which to live and work.

“As Chairman of the Oireachtas Committee on rural and community affairs, I am delighted that such a major scheme is specifically targeted at rural towns and villages with populations of less than 10,000.

“To ensure the vitality of our rural areas, a significant proportion of national population and economic growth will be targeted at building up the fabric of smaller towns, villages and rural areas, with much of that happening by redeveloping derelict and under-utilised lands inside small towns and villages,” Deputy Carey explained.

“Since the Town and Village Renewal Scheme was introduced in 2016, almost €53 million has been approved for over 670 projects across the country. These projects cover a range of activities, from improving the public realm, to job-creation initiatives such as the development of enterprise hubs and digital hubs.

“I strongly encourage towns and villages in Clare to work with Clare County Council in preparing innovative and well thought-out projects under the scheme and I look forward to the announcement of the successful recipients of funding in the coming months.

“In order to avail of funding through the scheme, the county council will be required to advertise for expressions of interest from towns and villages and will select proposals for development into detailed applications to be submitted to the Department by the end of June,” Deputy Carey added.