Clare will receive €112,899 to fund projects to help local communities respond to the pandemic.

The funding is part of a €3.3 million funding package for 120 projects across the country under the second round of the enhanced Town and Village Renewal Scheme. It comes on top of the €2.8 million that was announced under Round 1 of the scheme in August and is supported through the Government’s July Stimulus Package.

The focus of the funding is on measures and interventions that help towns and villages in the county to adapt to social distancing requirements and to provide safe environments that encourage people into towns and villages to shop and socialise.

Announcing the funding, Deputy Joe Carey said: “These projects approved will assist businesses and communities in Clare to adapt to the challenges posed by Covid-19 and to increase footfall and generate economic activity in the short-term. The projects have been identified by Clare community groups and businesses in conjunction with Clare County Council.

“They include projects where outdoor spaces can be adapted for social gatherings, dining or the hosting of outdoor events and marketing campaigns to entice people back into towns and villages and  investment in developing or improving the online presence of towns and villages.”

Clare County Council has been allocated funding of €112,899 for the following projects:

The local projects that will benefit from the funding include:
*Cross: Repurposing of old school to create a remote working hub and community social space (€40,000);
*Ballynacally: Completion of two self-catering cottages to increase footfall and generate income for the local community group (€26,847);
*Bunratty: Biodiversity and nature trail walk on public lands, new information signage boards, improved access to a conservation area, resurfacing graveyard access and new seating (€25,000);
*Kildysart: Fit-out of toilet and shower facilities to attract more locals tourists to area (€21,042).

Deputy Carey added: “The funding is further evidence of the great cooperation of Clare County Council and local communities as they work together to come up with innovative ways of making the areas where we live, work, shop and socialise better places, particularly as we learn to live with Covid-19.”

Minister of Social Protection, Community and Rural Development and the Islands, Heather Humphrey, said: “The €3.3 million in funding which I am allocating today to 120 towns and villages is for projects that can be delivered quickly and which will encourage people into our towns and villages, and giving them the confidence to spend more time there.

“Once again the local authorities, together with their local communities, have brought forward projects that will help meet the specific needs of their own areas. A wide variety of innovative measures are being supported under this round of funding, including the purchasing of marquees and equipment to facilitate outdoor events and festivals, and the provision of sheltered outdoor meeting spaces.

“I’m also pleased to be able to provide support for the fit out of a number of Broadband Connection Points throughout the country, which will be vital for people in remote locations to stay connected or to work remotely.” 

PHOTO: Deputy Joe Carey with Dorothy Madden and Liam Kirwin from the Ballynacally Development Group