Council seeks Town and Village Renewal Scheme proposals
The Rural Development Directorate of Clare County Council is inviting expressions of interest from new and established business and community groups across Clare in relation to the Town and Village Renewal Scheme 2019, the main focus of which is on public realm type activities and the enhancement of town centre amenities.
Funded by the Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs under the Government’s Action Plan for Rural Development, the primary aim of the scheme is to enhance and develop towns and villages socially, economically and culturally.
Up to 200 towns and villages across Ireland will benefit from funding under the Scheme, which will be made available locally through Clare County Council to support rural regeneration. Clare County Council says it is also seeking proposals that encourage town centre living along with proposals that support the revitalisation of towns and villages in order to improve the living and working environment of their communities and increase their potential to support economic activity into the future.
The call for Expressions of Interest has been welcomed by Mayor of Clare Councillor Michael Begley who said the funding allocated under the Scheme will enable local business and community groups to fund projects that can support rural regeneration and help to boost economic activity in Clare's towns and villages.
Pat Dowling, Chief Executive of Clare County Council, said the Scheme supports the work of Clare Rural Development Forum in delivering on its Strategy for Rural Clare. Mr. Dowling added that full involvement by community interests and business interests will be an essential feature of successful projects in 2019.
According to Leonard Cleary, Director of Rural Development, “All expressions of interest received during the coming weeks will be assessed by Clare County Council following which up to 12 eligible projects can be selected and submitted to the Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs for final project selection in July. Successful projects will be expected to commence by year end and be completed by the end of 2019.”
Up to 80% of the total cost of a project under the Town and Village Renewal Scheme will be provided for any individual project. The minimum grant available is €20,000 and the maximum is €100,000. Up to 10% of the total cost may be provided in the form of "in-kind" contributions (e.g. land lease or voluntary labour; a minimum cash contribution of 10% will also be required. A higher maximum of €200,000 will be considered for a limited number of projects where a robust case can be made demonstrating exceptionally benefit to a town.
Clare County Council will develop a number of proposals with town/village groups into detailed applications to be submitted to the Department. Projects will be expected to commence during 2019 and will be expected to be completed by the end of June 2021. The Department of Rural & Community Development will assess these proposals and will approve the best projects nationally for funding, depending on the quality of the projects and the level of funding sought. The assessment is by means of a competitive process.
Expression of Interest forms and scheme guidelines are available at http://www.clarecoco.ie/services/community/grants. The closing date for submission of Expression of Interest Application forms under the Town and Village Renewal Scheme is 1.00pm on Friday, 24 May 2019. Further information on the Town and Village Renewal Scheme 2019 is available on www.clarecoco.ie or from the Rural Development Directorate of Clare County Council on (065) 6821616.
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