Three Laois projects have qualified for CLAR funding totalling €116,440.
A recreation area on the grassy bank of the Grand Canal at Vicarstown is to be developed with €49,500 in CLÁR funding while another amenity area at Woodenbridge will receive funding of €21,940 for seating, picnic and BBQ facilities and a play area.
A further €49,000 will be spent on pedestrian crossing and digital speed safety signs at Gaelscoil an tSlí Dala and Ballghmore Muniter na Tire.
Nationwide, more than €4.1 million in funding has been made available to support 115 projects in rural communities under Measure 1 and Measure 2 of the 2020 CLÁR programme.
The programme is one element of the Department of Rural and Community Development’s Rural Development Investment Programme, which provides a package of co-ordinated and complementary supports for rural areas.
Politicians from across the landscape have welcomed the news.
Fine Gael Cllr Conor Bergin, who is based in the Borris-In-Ossory-Mountmellick area, says he is anxious for Laois County Council to execute the works in Ballaghmore.
He said: “I am delighted to confirm that €45,000 has been secured for Ballaghmore village under today’s CLAR scheme announcement. I raised this issue by two motions at our Borris-In-Ossory/Mountmellick Municipal District meetings in the last year.
“This funding has been secured under the CLAR programme and announced by Minister for Community and Rural Development, Heather Humphreys TD this morning.
“Ballaghmore is a very busy village, with a lot of traffic coming from Roscrea, Borris-In-Ossory and Camross on a daily basis.
“There is a Gaelscoil and ASD preschool in the village which are very both very important for the area and bring a lot of students to the village.
“Traffic calming measures are badly and urgently needed to protect pedestrians, children and all road users in the village due to the sheer volume and speed of traffic in the village.
“I am pleased that these traffic calming measures have been approved and I am anxious that Laois County Council carry out these works as soon as possible.”
Minister of State of the Department of Finance, Sean Fleming, said: “This funding will support the provision of safety measures around schools and community facilities, as well as the development of community recreation areas.
“CLÁR provides funding for small scale projects in designated rural areas that have experienced significant levels of population decline.
“I know all these organisations will be pleased with the announcement to assist them in their projects.”
Senator Pippa Hackett, Minister of State for Land Use and Biodiversity said: “CLÁR funding is targeted at small scale projects in designated rural areas that have experienced significant levels of population decline, so I’m delighted to see five projects in Offaly and Laois included in this round of funding.
“The 2020 CLÁR programme places a particular focus on supporting CLÁR communities to deal with the impact of COVID-19 and meeting the needs of communities in these challenging times.”