2020 CLÁR Programme will help rural communities respond to COVID-19 – Minister Ring

From Department of Rural and Community Development

Last updated 25th May 2020

CLÁR provides funding for small scale infrastructural projects in rural areas that have suffered significant levels of population decline. The supports provided through CLÁR have been tailored this year to help rural communities to respond to the new COVID-19 environment. This includes the addition of new funding measures.

The measures being funded under the 2020 CLÁR programme are:

Measure 1: Schools/Community Safety measures (expanded in 2020)

Measure 2: Community Recreation Areas (new in 2020)

Measure 3: Community Wellbeing Supports, comprising:

Meals on Wheels and linked services (new in 2020)

Mobility and Cancer Care Transport

Announcing the funding, Minister Ring said:

“I am pleased to announce the launch of the CLÁR programme for 2020. Since I reopened the scheme in 2016, it has made a very positive contribution to some of our most remote rural communities, supporting over 1,400 projects with funding of almost €33 million. This year, more than ever, these communities need our continued support.

“I have reviewed and revised our approach to CLÁR this year so that it reflects the new challenges which COVID-19 has brought to our communities. In particular:

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 am delighted to be able to assist these organisations that provide vital services which support people to live in their own homes while also playing a role in combating rural isolation.

We will also 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.”

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