Laois community groups, schools, clubs, and health organisations are being urged to apply for a share of the €5 million CLAR Programme.
This funding has been made available by the Department of Rural and Community Development.
The three measures being funded under the 2020 CLÁR programme are: Schools/community safety measures; community recreation areas; community wellbeing supports, comprising meals on wheels and linked services; and mobility and cancer care transport.
Sheltered outdoor seating, picnic areas, BBQ facilities, stage areas, and public lighting are among measures also likely to be supported under the scheme.
The scope of the scheme has been expanded and adapted to take account of the Covid-19 crisis.
The application deadline is August 28 and you can apply by clicking here.
Fine Gael Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan said: “The Clár Programme can be used for small scale infrastructural projects in rural communities where there has been significant levels of population decline.
“This year it has been tailored to help such communities to respond to COVID-19 and I encourage local community groups in Laois to apply.
“For example, the Schools and Community Safety Measure, which funds items such as pedestrian crossings and footpaths to provide safe access to schools, has been broadened to allow additional investments to adapt areas around schools and community facilities to help meet new public health requirements arising from COVID-19.
“Funding will be provided under a new measure for community recreational areas where friends and families can socialise outdoors in safe, accessible, community spaces while respecting public health guidelines.
“This measure will include support for items such as picnic benches/tables, outdoor covered seating or BBQ areas, public lighting, bicycle stands, bandstand/stage areas, etc.
“These recreational areas will be particularly important for community social interaction in the coming months, in line with the Government’s Roadmap for Reopening Society and Business.
“Community organisations providing meals on wheels and other community services will also be supported to purchase kitchen or food delivery equipment.
“They can also access funds for any adaptations that may be necessary to their existing vehicles as a result of new public health guidelines.
“I was also pleased to hear Minister Ring confirm that we will separately continue to fund vehicles for those vital voluntary organisations that provide free transport for people with mobility issues and for those attending cancer treatments.”