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Projects focused on economic & social recoveries to benefit from €15m town & village renewal scheme

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*Photograph: John Mangan

Community groups across the county are being encouraged to apply for funding under the 2020 Town and Village Renewal Scheme.

A total of €15m has been allocated to this year’s scheme, which is one element of a €30m package of integrated supports announced by Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring.

Projects that place a particular emphasis on the economic and social recoveries of towns and villages in response to COVID-19 are expected to be receive more support from the scheme.

This would include initiatives such as temporarily repurposing or pedestrianising public areas to facilitate street trading, the development of an online platform to promote online retailers and small-scale events to attract people into town centres safely.

“Towns and villages in Clare are at the heart of our economic and social activity and will play a pivotal role once again in providing safe spaces for people to meet and do business as the current restrictions are eased in line with the Government’s Roadmap for Reopening Society and Business,” Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council, Cllr Clare Colleran Molloy (FF) commented.

Accelerated support will be provided throughout the country courtesy of the scheme, Council Chief Executive, Pat Dowling stated. This will “enable them to quickly adapt to public health requirements such as social distancing in the short term, and to encourage increased footfall.

Grant funding of €20,000 up to €200,000 is available under the standard scheme while maximum grants of €25,000 are available under the new Accelerated Measure element of the scheme, with the possibility to increase to €40,000 for a small number of high-impact projects.

Community groups who have identified projects are being invited to submit an Expression of Interest to Clare County Council. Expressions of Interest received will be assessed based on the priorities as contained in the scheme. A total of 16 proposals can then be put forward for submission to the Department of Rural and Community Development.

The deadlines for receipt of applications are as follows:

Round 1 Accelerated Measure is 4pm on Friday, 19th June, 2020
Round 2 Accelerated Measure is 4pm on Tuesday, 30th June, 2020
Standard Town and Village Renewal Scheme is 4pm on Tuesday, 30th June, 2020.

Páraic McMahon is Head of News & Sport with The Clare Echo. The Newmarket-on-Fergus native also writes for national papers including The Irish Examiner, The Irish Independent and The Irish Times along with doing work for RTÉ, Today FM, TheJournal.ie and The42.ie. A graduate of Mary Immaculate College, Páraic was previously employed by The Clare Herald and Clare FM. If you have a story, tip or some feedback for him then send an email to - paraic@clareecho.ie

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