GRANTS totalling almost €7 million have been approved for 251 projects by the Clare Local Development Company (CLDC), it emerged this week.
The final project approved in March 2021 is a €190,000 LEADER investment in renewable energy technology in Lahinch SeaWorld.
This will see the installation of a ground source heat pump and solar panels at the popular North Clare community-run leisure facility, enabling the decarbonisation of their heat system and providing renewable heating and cooling systems for their amenities.
The project will complement the existing renovation works and will deliver a major carbon offset of 216 tons annually.
Speaking at the final board meeting of the 2014-2020 Programme, Clare Local Development Company chairman, Mike Hogan, stressed the importance of LEADER in supporting not only community-led local development projects but also helping communities to reach climate action targets.
“Looking to the next rural development programme, LEADER will be more important than ever to rural communities who want to take environmental action,” Mr Hogan said.
Chief Executive Officer of CLDC, Doirin Graham highlighted the economic and social contribution of the LEADER Programme to the county.
“The 251 projects assisted in the course of this programme are helping to change the future of rural communities in every corner of the county,” she said.
“The community, enterprise and environmental grants ranged from €3,000 to €200,000, resulting in a total LEADER investment of €7m in Clare businesses and communities. With co-financing from project promoters, the total investment in the county is almost twice that amount”, she continued.
Announcing the new Transitional LEADER Programme 2021-2022 for Co. Clare, the CLDC chairman welcomed the additional grant funding of almost €2 million provided by government and the EU and acknowledged that this is first time an initiative to bridge the gap between LEADER programmes has been put in place in 30 years of LEADER.
The next full LEADER programme will cover the 2023-2027 period under the new EU CAP agreement.
Mr Hogan complimented the proactive LEADER team in CLDC and the board members who strongly supported the 251 projects. He also acknowledged the input of the officials at the Department of Rural and Community Development.
Ms Graham encouraged potential project promoters to make contact with one of the CLDC LEADER Development Officers who will assist and advise on any community or enterprise project. For further details, see www.cldc.ie or email email@example.com
by Dan Danaher