Local community groups and schools in Ardee and Mid-Louth have been encouraged to look into obtaining funding for various work from the Government’s new tranche of funding – the CLÁR programme.
Part of the Government’s Action Plan for Rural Development which was launched back in January, €5 million will be made available nationwide to local community groups – such as Tidy Towns initiatives – and both primary and post-primary schools.
The grants are been funded by the Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs and can be sought for works in rural areas and small towns like Ardee for playgrounds, car parks, public lighting, bus shelters, pedestrian crossings, speed safety signs and other safety measures that may be required at schools.
Ardee has previously benefitted by other such funding from the Department via the Town and Village Renewal Scheme and also the REDZ (Rural Economic Development Zone) scheme. €150,000 has been awarded to the town from the latter over the last two years while late last year, €72,500 was granted to Ardee for the Fair Green playground extension, roundabout works, new signage and more.
The Town and Village Renewal Scheme will be open once again for 2017 applications shortly. Speaking after this week’s announcement, Fergus O’Dowd TD welcome the funding and urged local groups to apply.
“I would strongly encourage community groups and schools in Louth to apply for funding through the CLÁR programme,” he said. “Funding will be made available for safety measures near schools and other community facilities, as well as funding for play areas.
“The safety measures coupled with funding for playgrounds and multi-use games areas will assist CLÁR areas to provide safe amenities for their young people thereby increasing the attractiveness of an area from both a social and economic perspective.
“The scope of the programme will also be extended this year to provide capital funding for innovative, community based projects that do not qualify for other established schemes,” he continued.
Applications can be made through Louth County Council so interested parties are asked to contact the local authority or contact their local councillor for more information or for help with their application.