CLÁR 2020 Funding For Rural Communities Announced, with COVID-19 Focus

Posted on 26 May 2020

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

€5 million fund forms part of the Department of Rural and Community Development's integrated Rural Development Investment Programme.

CLÁR 2020 has several special provisions for assisting rural communities in responding to the challenges of COVID-19, as follows:

  1. Measure 1: Schools/Community Safety measures (expanded in 2020)
    CLÁR 2020 will consider support for interventions that make the school/community facility environs healthier and safer for the children attending the schools, and for children and adults using the community facilities. This measure 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.

    Eligible Applicants: Schools, Community Groups, Local Development Companies, Local Authorities.
     
  2. Measure 2: Community Recreation Areas (new in 2020)
    In the context of the impact of COVID-19 on communities, CLÁR 2020 will consider support for the enhancement of existing and/or the development of new accessible Community Recreation Areas where people can socialise outdoors in safe community spaces.

    Eligible Applicants: Community Groups, Local Development Companies, Local Authorities.
     
  3. Measure 3: Community Wellbeing Supports, comprising:

    (a) Meals on Wheels and linked services (new in 2020)
    Recognising the critical role of community groups in responding to COVID-19, and in particular the response of those groups providing meals on wheels and other linked services, CLÁR 2020 sees the introduction of funding for community groups providing meals on wheels services. This will fund community organisations that provide meals on wheels and other linked community services for:  the adaptation of existing vehicles and 2  the purchase of kitchen and/or delivery equipment required in the provision of the Meals on Wheels service.

    Eligibility: This measure will be operated directly by the Department of Rural and Community Development and is open to established organisations and groups that operate partly or entirely on a voluntary basis and are involved in the provision of meals on wheels with linked services that require support in order to deliver this service.

    (b)Mobility and Cancer Care Transport
    Recognising the critical role that volunteer organisations play in the provision of vital services to vulnerable sectors of the community; and the level of interest in this particular funding stream, CLÁR 2020 once again sees the allocation of funding for Mobility and Cancer Care Transport support. This measure will be operated directly by the Department of Rural and Community Development and is open to established organisations/groups that operate entirely on a voluntary basis and provide: 2  transport to/from day care/other medical/therapy/respite services for those with significant mobility issues including requiring specialised wheelchair accessible vehicles or  transport to/from designated cancer treatment hospitals/centres under the National Cancer Care Programme.

    Eligibility: The measure is open to established, voluntary organisations/groups that operate on a voluntary basis, and are involved in the provision of transport services, free of charge, to persons requiring wheelchair accessible vehicles to access day care/other medical/therapy/respite services and/or those requiring transport to/from hospitals for treatments under the National Cancer Care Programme.

The closing date for receipt of applications by the Department is 28 August 2020 for all Measures.

Background

The CLÁR programme (Ceantair Laga Árd-Riachtanais) is a targeted capital investment programme for rural areas which have experienced significant levels of depopulation. The programme was originally launched in October 2001 but was closed for applications in 2010. The scheme was re-opened by Minister Michael Ring in 2016 to support the development of remote rural areas through small-scale capital projects involving collaboration between Local Authorities and communities. The CLÁR programme has awarded funding to 1,437 projects since 2016, with funding of almost €33 million.

Areas targeted under the CLÁR Programme are parts of counties: Carlow, Cavan, Clare, Cork, Donegal, Galway, Kerry, Kilkenny, Laois, Limerick, Longford, Louth, Mayo, Meath, Monaghan, Offaly, Roscommon, Sligo, Tipperary, Waterford, Westmeath, Wicklow and all of County Leitrim.

Full details here.