Wednesday, 29 May 2019

Questions (47)

Peter Burke


47. Deputy Peter Burke asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development the status of the 2019 CLÁR programme, the 2019 outdoor recreational infrastructural scheme and the walks scheme, respectively; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22723/19]

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Written answers (Question to Rural)

The CLÁR programme provides funding for small scale infrastructure projects in rural areas that have experienced significant levels of de-population.  I launched the 2019 CLÁR programme on 28th February last, with a closing date of 25th April for applications.  

Almost 500 applications were received by my Department and my officials are currently assessing all of these applications.  I hope to be in a position to announce the successful 2019 CLÁR projects in the coming weeks.

The Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme provides funding for the development of new outdoor recreational infrastructure and the maintenance, enhancement or promotion of existing recreational infrastructure.

I launched the 2019 Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme on 29th March.  The closing date for receipt of applications under the scheme is 31st May, after which my officials will assess the applications received. 

The Walks Scheme supports the development and maintenance of some of Ireland’s key walking trails.  The scheme currently covers 39 trails, with payments made to approximately 1,900 private land-holders to maintain those trails.

The Programme for a Partnership Government included a commitment to increase the number of walks covered by the scheme.  In line with this commitment, funding for the scheme was doubled in Budget 2019 - from €2 million to €4 million. 

In February of this year, I invited Expressions of Interest for the inclusion of additional trails in the Walks Scheme. Trail management committees, community groups and other interested bodies should contact their Local Authority or Local Development Company with regard to this process.  To allow sufficient time for proposals to be developed against the scheme criteria, there is no closing date for the submission of Expressions of Interest at this time.