Laois/Offaly TD and Minster for Justice & Equality, Charlie Flanagan has urged Laois County Council and local communities to work together on proposals for the 2019 CLÁR programme.
CLÁR provides funding for small scale infrastructural projects in rural areas that have suffered significant levels of population decline.
The measures being funded under the 2019 CLÁR programme are:
Measure 1: Support for Schools/Community Safety measures
Measure 2: Play Areas (including Multi-Use Games Areas)
Measure 3: Community Wellbeing Supports (new in 2019), comprising:
· First Response Support
· Mobility and Cancer Care Transport
· Sensory Gardens
Minister Flanagan said: “The CLÁR programme for 2019 contains exciting new measures.
“I strongly urge Laois County Council and other groups to submit proposals to the Department of Rural & Community Development for consideration.
The deadline for applications is 25th April 2019.
“In the last two years my Fine Gael colleague Minister Michael Ring allocated €609,708 to community projects in Laois through CLÁR.
“It never fails to impress me how much can be achieved with relatively modest investments through this programme.
“It is a great example of what can be achieved when everyone works together for the good of the community.
“This year’s round of funding will see the creation of a “Community Wellbeing Support” measure which will encompass the assistance given in previous years for voluntary first-response organisations; and for mobility and cancer care supports.
“This year’s CLÁR programme will, for the first time, provide funding for the development of specialist sensory gardens and complementary play equipment.
These gardens are designed to stimulate the senses and are of particular benefit to people with certain disabilities.
“Funding is available again this year for initiatives to improve safety near schools including traffic calming measures; and for playgrounds, play areas, (including Multi-Use Games Areas) and other community facilities.
“By supporting these investments CLÁR is helping to improve the quality of life in rural communities for families with young children.
“The measures announced today, taken together, will make living in rural areas safer and even more attractive for people of all ages.
“Rural communities themselves will be key partners in the provision of these facilities, but I am delighted that the CLÁR programme will enable these groups to put new and enhanced facilities in place in their communities,” Minister Flanagan said
Full details of the CLÁR programme will be issued to the Local Authorities and other relevant organisations in the coming days.