I propose to take Questions Nos. 446 to 449, inclusive, together.
I launched the 2019 CLÁR programme on the 28th February last, with an indicative allocation of €5 million for qualifying projects under the following measures:
Measure 1: Support for Schools/Community Safety Measures
Measure 2: Play Areas/Multi-Use Games Areas
Measure 3: Community Wellbeing Support comprising of
3a: First Response Support
3b: Mobility and Cancer Care Transport
3c: Sensory Gardens
I can confirm that applications in respect of the projects referred to by the Deputy were received under Measures 1 and 2 of the programme. However, almost 500 applications were received across all Measures, with more than 300 of those in respect of Measures 1 and 2.
The level of funding sought far exceeded the available budget and it was not possible to fund all of the project applications received.
The CLÁR programme is designed to provide funding for rural areas which have suffered high levels of population decline. The number of projects approved in each county this year under Measures 1 and 2 was decided by reference to the proportion of the CLÁR area within each county. This approach was taken to ensure that counties with a proportionally larger area in CLÁR received greater assistance under the programme.
Counties with eligible CLÁR areas were divided into 4 categories - small, medium, large and very large - based on the proportion of the county as a whole with designated CLÁR areas. This resulted in 6 counties in the medium category, including Cork, being approved for 3 projects each.
The selection of the individual projects had regard, inter alia, to the range, mix, quality and impact of the project proposals submitted.
Almost €6 million has been allocated to 179 projects across all Measures under the CLÁR programme this year. This includes funding for 8 projects in total in County Cork, to the value of almost €300,000.