Major investment in Clare’s rural communities
€944,000 is being allocated to Clare County Council to support rural regeneration under the Town and Village Renewal Scheme 2017, an initiative under the Government’s Action Plan for Rural Development.
The allocation, announced today by the Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring TD, is the second major Government funding boost for the recently launched Clare Rural Development Strategy following last week’s allocation of €482,000 under the Local Improvement Scheme (LIS).
9 projects in Clarecastle, Ennistymon, Kilrush / Kilkee, Kildysart, Tulla, Newmarket-On-Fergus, Doonbeg, Miltown Malbay and Scariff / Tuamgraney are among 281 projects across the country benefiting under the €21m Town and Village Renewal Scheme which is specifically targeted at rural towns and villages with populations of less than 10,000.
Councillor Tom McNamara, Mayor of Clare, commented, “Full involvement by community and business interests in the 9 projects submitted by Clare County Council has been central to the significant funding received by Clare under the Scheme. This funding will allow local business and community groups to work with Clare County Council in advancing developments that will ultimately support rural regeneration and help to boost economic activity in Clare's towns and villages.”
Pat Dowling, Chief Executive of Clare County Council, said, “This is a good news story for County Clare because it breathes life into rural communities and it is in line with one of the key objectives of the Clare Rural Development Strategy as well as the County Clare Local Economic and Community Plan.”
“Funding was received for all applications submitted by Clare County Council which represents a very important endorsement of the quality of projects submitted and of the close working relationship that exists between communities throughout Clare and the Local Authority,” added Mr. Dowling.
Leonard Cleary, Acting Director of Rural Development, Clare County Council, welcomed the allocation of funding, adding, “This funding supports the work of the Clare Rural Development Forum in delivering on its Strategy for Rural Clare. Clare County Council looks forward to playing a leading role in the delivery of the 9 projects which collectively will help to enhance and develop rural towns and villages, with a particular emphasis on stimulating economic development through the support of local enterprises, promotion of the local tourism sector and generation of new employment.”
The project in receipt of the largest funding allocation (€200,000) is the Traderee Food Court in Newmarket-on-Fergus, which is being promoted by Obair Newmarket CLG and includes Clare County Council, Clare LEADER and Newmarket on Fergus Local Community Renewal Committee as stakeholders. The development involves the development of an incubation unit for four food-related start-ups, a production kitchen and a training unit.
A proposed ‘Multi-Service Innovation Centre’ in Ennistymon accommodating supports for private enterprise, public services and tourism information, has received €100,000. The project is being promoted by Clare County Council and the project stakeholders/community partners are North West Clare Family Resource Centre and the private business sector.
Another Clare County Council led project in Kilrush/Kilkee has received €100,000. The Combined Town project supports entrepreneurship and will see two buildings converted in each town, which will have a combined purpose of providing for the development of Enterprise Hubs, Hot Desk Facilities, Digital Hubs, Creative Hubs, Training Facilities and a Tourism Information Hub.
€100,000 has been allocated to a proposed streetscape rejuvenation programme in Clarecastle that is being promoted by Clarecastle Community Development. The public realm project will focus on the enhancement of the streetscape and the town environment.
€100,000 also has been allocated for a significant public realm improvement initiative at the approach road between Scariff and Tuamgraney and also at the entrances to Scariff Harbour and the FINSA Forest Products Ltd site. The project will be delivered by Clare County Council in close consultation with Scariff Community Council and Tuamgraney Development Association.
A project that involves the development of the accommodation section of Cnoc na Gaoithe (Windswept Hill) Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann Centre in Tulla has also received €100,000.
€100,000 has been allocated for the proposed refurbishment by Miltown Malbay Development Committee of the existing community centre located in the heart of the town to provide a modern fit for purpose focal point for the local community and visitors to the area.
€80,000 has been announced for a project being promoted by Kildysart Community Focus CLG. The local community development group, which has developed a number of very substantial projects in the area in the past, is proposing to create attractions that encourage additional ‘overnights’ and ‘stops’ by improving the slipway at Crovaghan pier, developing an area for Camping and Camper Vans proximate to the current Picnic area in Kildysart including new toilet and showering facilities, and increasing the number of walking/cycling routes.
€64,000 has been allocated for the proposed development of two coastal walks in Doonbeg which will aim to increase visitor numbers and revenues by linking Doonbeg’s two Discovery Points (Doughmore Beach and White Strand) along the Wild Atlantic Way, and extending the local trail infrastructure and tourist activities in order to link with walks in Kilkee and other West Clare routes. The project is being promoted by Doonbeg Community Development.
Further information on the Town and Village Renewal Scheme 2017 is available from the Rural Development Directorate of Clare County Council on (065) 6821616.
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