A map of Limerick showing the designated CLÁR areas highlighted in blue
A NEW scheme from the Department of Rural and Community Development opens the way for schools and community groups in CLÁR areas to apply directly for project funding of up to €50,000.
But only schools and community groups that are in CLÁR designated towns and villages or CLÁR designated electoral divisions are eligible.
The scheme is designed to support small-scale infrastructural projects in areas which have suffered the greatest levels of population decline, according to Séamus O'Connor of Limerick City and County Council.
Up to now, the scheme was operated through council area offices but the 2018 scheme has opened it up for schools and/or community groups to make their own applications to the council for inclusion.
“The scheme has made a very positive impact in previous years so I would encourage funding applications from schools, Local Development Companies and established community groups,” Mr O'Connor said. ”You must remember though that there will be competition for funding.”
Limerick can only submit a total of 15 projects for funding to the department. Last year, the council received funding of €161,730 for eight school safety in Feenagh, Galbally, Kilmeedy, Oola, Knocknascrow, Ballylanders, Glengort and Bilboa and grants ranged from €13,500 to €31,000.
Applications can be made under two different headings. Measure One is for safety projects in schools or in the community where the minimum grant is €1000 and the maximum is €50,000 or 90% whichever is lowest. Measure Two provides support for play areas including multi-use games areas (MUGAs), with grants ranging from €5000 to €50,000 or 90% of the total.
Any projects, Mr O'Connor said, would have to be “of sufficient quality” and consistent with existing development plans to be considered.
But the Mayor of the City and County of Limerick Cllr Stephen Keary has added his voice to that of Mr O'Connor and has urged all eligible schools and community groups to get cracking on their application. “It is important that we do all we can to rejuvenate our rural areas to make them attractive for people to live, work and play,” he said.
“This is a competitive application process so I would urge groups to spend the time filling out the application form to see how best funding could help their areas.”
The closing date for receipt of applications is Friday, April 20, 2018.
For further details go tothe website www.limerick.ie or email janette.deegan
@limerick.ie or phone 061 557389.