The Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs has announced that funding totalling EUR1,221,091 has been allocated to Clare Local Development Company Limited under the Rural Development Programme 2007-2013.



[ClickPress, Mon Oct 19 2009] Minister of State and Clare T.D. Tony Killeen said the funds would enable the Local Development Company to administer grants to worthwhile projects that will make a big difference to their communities.

“The Rural Development Programme presents individuals and organisations in every corner of Clare with an ideal opportunity to invest in their own communities”, he stated.

The Junior Agriculture Minister continued: “The range of activities funded under this Programme are varied and include diversification into non-agricultural activities, support for business creation, encouragement of tourism activities, basic services for the economy and rural population, village renewal and development, conservation, and upgrading of rural training and information”.

Minister of State Killeen added, “Despite the economic challenges facing the country, I believe that this is a time of great opportunity for rural areas. With the increasing urbanisation of society, there is renewed interest in rural recreation, marine-associated activities and indigenous small food production. I believe that the EUR1.2m that is available for allocation immediately in Clare can be of enormous benefit to rural communities and has the potential to give those communities the opportunity to take a significant step towards economic recovery before the end of the year.”

Meanwhile, the North Clare T.D. said he warmly welcomed the recent decision of the European Commission to allow certain capital projects under the Rural Development Programme to receive extra funding from Local Authorities.

“This applies to capital projects under three measures – village renewal and development, basic services for the economy and rural population, and conservation and upgrading of the rural heritage – and allows for up to 95% of the project’s funding to be provided. This is extremely positive, as it means that Clare Local Development Company Limited, communities and Clare Local Authorities will be able to take on projects of a larger scale and greater variety”, Minister of State Killeen concluded.

The Rural Development Programme is co-funded by the Government and the European Union. Under the Rural Development Programme 2007-2013, record funding of EUR425.4 million will be provided. This is almost treble the amount available in the last Programme (2000-2006), and the largest ever package for rural development. Allied to the private investment that it will attract, this funding should ensure a spend of over EUR1bn in rural Ireland.

-ENDS-

Notes to Editor:
- High-resolution images of Tony Killeen, Fianna Fail TD for Clare, and Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, with special responsibility for Forestry, Fisheries and the Marine, may be downloaded from www.dunphyprimages.com
- For further information please contact Mark Dunphy of Dunphy PR at media@dunphypr.com or 086-8534900

Mark Dunphy
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