Minister Heather Humphreys with members of the Mullan Tidy Towns, when she announced the CLÁR Measure 1 and 2 funding.
104 projects to benefit from funding under CLÁR Programme
Huge focus on young people and developing our outdoor amenities
Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, today (Monday 30th August) announced over €4.2 million in funding to support our schools, playgrounds, infrastructure projects and community organisations across Rural Ireland.
The funding comes under Department of Rural and Community Development’s CLÁR Programme, which is a key part of Our Rural Future, the Government’s five year strategy to revitalise our rural towns and villages.
Today’s announcement will see 104 projects supported in rural communities, under Measures 1 & 2 of the CLÁR 2021 programme.
Further announcements under the CLÁR programme will be made by Minister Humphreys in the coming weeks.
Announcing the funding, Minister Humphreys said:
"The CLÁR Programme 2021 puts our young people at the fore. From investing in our schools, playgrounds, outdoor amenities and other projects – we are demonstrating the value and appreciation we have for the leaders of the future."
"If the Pandemic has taught us one thing, it’s that our young people are our shining lights."
"Investing in them is an investment in our future – that’s what today’s announcement is all about."
"This particular announcement under my Department’s CLÁR Programme is the perfect example of why ‘Our Rural Future’ will be a game changer for Rural Ireland."
The Minister made the announcement after visiting the community in the small village of Mullan, Co Monaghan.
The population of village was reduced to just one during The Troubles.
The Minister continued:
"The likes of Mullan are a prime example of small villages in the hearth of rural Ireland that have a tremendous community spirit."
"But if we do not support villages such as these through investment, we run the risk of them falling into decline."
"My job as Minister is to re-invigorate Rural Ireland – My Department and I are determined to do that. Announcements like this, under the CLÁR Programme, are the proof behind our five year policy ‘Our Rural Future’."
Since the CLÁR Programme was reintroduced in 2016, it has provided funding of over €38m to over 1,600 projects under various measures.
This year, Measure 1 of the Programme will provide almost €2 million in support for projects in 52 communities.
The projects will provide and improve safety infrastructure such as footpaths, public lighting, traffic calming measures and car parking facilities. This measure also continues to support projects that help adapt the environs of schools and community facilities to help meet challenges arising from the pandemic.
Measure 2 funds outdoor community recreation facilities and this year funding of over €2.2 million will be provided in support of 52 projects across communities throughout the country. This measure includes supports for the development of new and enhanced community spaces including supports for playgrounds and Multi Use Games Areas (MUGAs).
Examples of successful projects announced today include:
New 1,500 meter walking trail at Tulla Athletics Club – supporting the surrounding woods, picnic tables and hedgerow planting: €43,560.
To enhance the shorefront in support of the Culfaff Development Associaton. This will enhance the adjoining playground providing for outdoor exercise equipment, wheelchair accessible picnic benches and seating: €50,000
Development of a Community play area in Mullan Village: €50,000
Kilgarvan GAA Hurling & Football Club: Installation of bicycle racks, outdoor bowling area, picnic area, parking infrastructure, disability parking and biodiversity landscaping: €50,000
Ballyfin Community Development Association - Provision of a children’s playground; safe surfacing, seating, fencing, biodiversity & sensory planting - €49,500
Coolaney Development Company – Construction of asphalt finished pump track for bikes - €49,500
Successful projects under the other CLÁR Measures will be announced in the coming weeks.
Note to editors
The CLÁR (Ceantair Laga Árd-Riachtanais) programme is funded by the Department of Rural and Community Development and forms part of the Government’s ambitious new five year policy for rural Ireland, Our Rural Future.
CLÁR is a targeted investment programme for rural areas that aims to provide funding for small infrastructural projects in areas that have experienced significant depopulation over a defined period. There are designated CLÁR areas in all counties with the exception of Dublin, Kildare and Wexford. Details of the designated areas can be found here
CLÁR funding works in conjunction with local funding and on the basis of locally identified priorities. CLÁR 2021 was opened in March 2021 with applications invited under the following four Measures:
Support for Schools/Community Safety
Outdoor Community Recreation Facilities
Community Wellbeing Support
(a) Community Gardens and Allotments
(b) Mobility and Cancer Care Transport
CLÁR Innovation Measure:
Funding for innovative or pilot projects that address specific challenges faced by communities in CLÁR areas.
Funding for Measure 1 and Measure 2 is being announced today. Successful projects under the other CLÁR Measures will be announced in the coming weeks.
Our Rural Future
Our Rural Future is the whole-of-government policy for rural Ireland for the period 2021-2025. It represents a new milestone in the approach to rural development policy for Ireland and adopts a more strategic, ambitious and holistic approach to investing in and maximising opportunities for rural areas.
The policy’s objectives will be achieved through the delivery of more than 150 commitments to be implemented across a range of government departments and agencies.
The CLÁR funding announced today fulfils a commitment in the 2021 Work Programme under Measure 81: Provide investment for multi-purpose spaces in the community (e.g. community centres, libraries, and sports clubs) for a variety of activities, including leisure, community, cultural and services provision.