Some €60,265 in funding has been allocated to enhance facilities in urban and rural communities across Clare.

Local Fine Gael TD Joe Carey said the Community Enhancement Programme [CEP] provides capital grants to community groups to improve amenities in disadvantaged areas.

Deputy Carey said: “The CEP provides vital support to community groups in order to help them improve their facilities. 

“It supports small-scale funding for projects which range from purchasing lawnmowers and IT equipment to minor renovations to buildings. Ultimately the Programme responds to local needs and therefore it also provides some funding towards larger projects where needed.

“We depend hugely on these community groups in Clare and I hope that this funding will help them to continue the important work that they carry out within our society. 

“I urge communities throughout Clare to familiarise themselves with the CEP and to apply for funding if they feel that it can be of local benefit. The CEP is administered by Local Community Development Committees in Clare. Details on how to apply will be available from each LCDC shortly,” Deputy Carey added.

Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring, added: “Since I first launched the CEP in 2018, it has funded over 5,000 projects in urban and rural communities throughout Ireland.

“While the CEP will be similar to last year, the LCDC in each area will have flexibility to use some or all of this funding for COVID-19 related expenditure by community groups, where this is a priority in individual local authority areas. This is in addition to other funding announced recently by my Department, such as the €2.5m COVID-19 Emergency fund and the €35m Stability Fund.”

In order to allow flexibility, the Department is not setting a national closing date, but will allow each LCDC to set its own, to best suit its area. The Department will require that all closing dates are no later than 30 September 2020. Groups should check with their LCDC for further details.