Five Clare towns and villages have received just under €115,000 as part of a new Government scheme to help them adapt to the Covid-19 pandemic, local TD Joe Carey confirmed today.

They are among 106 towns and villages across the country that will benefit immediately from €2.8 million in funding under the enhanced Town and Village Renewal Scheme.

The local areas that will benefit from the initial tranche of €114,274 in funding are:

*Tulla: Social distancing community meeting space (€13.050);

*Tuamgraney: Improvements to East Clare Memorial Park, including footpaths, seating and boundary wall (€25,000);

*Kilkee: Reconfiguration of playground layout to allow for social distancing (€22,295);

*Carrigaholt: Provision of outdoor tables and seating with temporary awnings (€24,229);

*Killaloe: Provision of measures to promote social distancing in main pedestrian areas (€29,700).

Welcoming the funding, local Fine Gael TD Joe Carey said the money will help communities to shop, socialise and work safely as they adapt to the post-Covid reality.

Deputy Carey said: “It is vitally important that we see an increase in footfall in rural towns and villages here in Clare and this funding will help to support our communities adapt to the ‘new normal’ as a result of Covid-19.

“This funding will benefit communities by altering streetscapes so that people can work, shop and socialise safely.”

The Clare TD said his colleague, the Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heath Humphreys, has increased funding for the Town and Village Renewal Scheme as part of the €17 million rural package her department secured under the July Jobs Stimulus.

Deputy Carey said: “This means more towns and villages across Clare will benefit from supports over the coming months.”

Minister Humphreys added: “Local Authorities throughout the country have been developing creative and innovative proposals to increase footfall and assist businesses in our rural towns and villages. 

“This tranche of funding announced today is part of an enhanced €25 million Town and Village Scheme which will continue to rejuvenate rural communities across Ireland.

“Further approvals under this hugely popular scheme will follow in a series of funding rounds that will be announced in the coming weeks. I expect that up to 500 towns and villages will be supported this year under the Town and Village Renewal Scheme.”