The Mayor of Clare has welcomed the announcement by Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys, of the second round of funding under the Town and Village Renewal Scheme (Accelerated Measure) for 2020.
Cllr Mary Howard said the funding announcement “acknowledges the need to support rural businesses and communities to enable them to respond to the challenges posed by Covid-19”.
This second round of funding under the Accelerated Measure sees the commitment of €112,889 for four projects in Clare and will bring a welcome stimulus to towns and villages in receipt of funding. This funding is in addition to the funding announced in August under Round 1 of the scheme and brings the total funding granted for projects in Clare to date to €227,163.
The four projects in Clare selected by the Department of Rural and Community Development under the Town and Village Renewal Scheme 2020 Accelerated Measure Round 2 are:
Cross – repurposing of an old school to create a remote working hub and community social space
Ballynacally – completion of two self-catering cottages to be let for tourist accommodation to increase footfall and generate income for the community group
Bunratty – biodiversity and nature trail walk on public lands, new information signage boards, improved access to a conservation area, resurfacing graveyard access and new seating
Kildysart – fit-out of toilet and shower facilities to attract both locals and tourists to the area.
Speaking about the funding, Pat Dowling, Chief Executive of Clare County Council, acknowledged the specific Covid-19 focus of the Accelerated Measure under this year’s scheme, which he said “will help communities to shop, socialise and work safely”. Mr Dowling noted the significant “commitment, interest and innovation of communities in putting forward projects for consideration under this funding measure to enable their social and economic recovery in the face of the challenges presented by Covid-19”.
Leonard Cleary, Director of Service, Rural and Community Development, Clare County Council, acknowledged that “the approved projects will assist businesses/communities in towns and villages to adapt to the specific challenges posed by Covid-19 increasing footfall and generating economic activity in the short term in delivering on the Clare Rural Development Strategy”. These projects have been identified by local community groups and businesses, in conjunction with Municipal Districts, Mr Cleary said.
Further approvals under Round 3 of the Accelerated Measure under Town and Village Renewal are expected to be announced by Minister Humphreys in the weeks ahead.