FIVE Clare towns and villages have received just under €115,000 as part of a new Government scheme to help them adapt to the Covid-19 pandemic.
They are among 106 towns and villages across the country that will benefit immediately from €2.8 million in funding under the enhanced Town and Village Renewal Scheme.
The local areas that will benefit from the initial tranche of €114,274 in funding are:
- Tulla: Social distancing community meeting space (€13.050)
- Tuamgraney: Improvements to East Clare Memorial Park, including footpaths, seating and boundary wall (€25,000)
- Kilkee: Reconfiguration of playground layout to allow for social distancing (€22,295)
- Carrigaholt: Provision of outdoor tables and seating with temporary awnings (€24,229)
- Killaloe: Provision of measures to promote social distancing in main pedestrian areas (€29,700)
Welcoming the funding, Clare Fine Gael TD Joe Carey said the money will help communities to shop, socialise and work safely as they adapt to the post-Covid reality.
“It is vitally important that we see an increase in footfall in rural towns and villages here in Clare and this funding will help to support our communities adapt to the ‘new normal’ as a result of Covid-19,” said Deputy Carey. “This funding will benefit communities by altering streetscapes so that people can work, shop and socialise safely.”
The Clare TD said his colleague, the Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys, has increased funding for the Town and Village Renewal Scheme as part of the €17 million rural package her department secured under the July Stimulus. “This means more towns and villages across Clare will benefit from supports over the coming months.”
Welcoming the news, Deputy Cathal Crowe added, “Everyday things like walking on local footpaths or visiting the playground with kids have to be now seen in a different light. We need to live our lives in as normal a way as possible but it’s becoming very apparent that we will be co-existing with Covid for many months to come. The measures being funded should help to install more public confidence in using open spaces and will hopefully lead to increased footfall – something small businesses are in desperate need of right now.”
Minister Humphreys said she expects that up to 500 towns and villages will be supported this year under the Town and Village Renewal Scheme.