Three local projects receive €115,000 in CLÁR funding

Almost €115,000 in CLÁR funding has been allocated for upgrades to playgrounds in Rathowen and Kilbeggan, as well as for for traffic calming measures in Streete.

Rathowen Community Development is to receive €50,000 to upgrade the village's park and playground

while another €50,000 has been allocated to upgrade the playground in Kilbeggan's Linear Park. A total of €14,000 has also been allocated for the provision of digital speed safety signs on both approaches to Streete Village.

The funding has been welcomed by Minister of State Peter Burke, who says that it is vital that the government continues to invest in rural communities in Westmeath and the rest of the country.

“After comprehensive application processes, €50,000 has been allocated to Rathowen Community Development Park to enhance and upgrade the Village Park.  This park is already well utilised and it is great to see that more families will now be able to make use of this community facility over the coming years.

“Also in Kilbeggan, the existing Linear Park is to be upgraded and extended, with another total of €50,000.  While the figure seems a lot, playgrounds need significant money to ensure they are safe, equipment is durable and fixed firmly in place and measures are taken to ensure children can enjoy the amenities safely and they will endure over a number of years. This is great news for the community of Kilbeggan and especially for young children and their families. With more emphasis being placed on enjoying our outdoors and socialising outside, the investment is timely and I am looking forward to seeing the results over the coming months.

“ For as long as I have been involved in politics, the issue of speeding in Streete has been raised.  I am hopeful that this €14,000 investment of brightly lit reminders of current speeds will deter people from speeding within the village and ensure a safer environment for all residents and businesses.

“The CLÁR programme was re-introduced by Fine Gael in 2017 and is targeted at small towns and villages that have suffered depopulation.  I am glad that Minister Humphreys has increased the funding and reviewed these applications to ensure that rural Westmeath towns get their fair bite of the cherry.  Like her predecessor Michael Ring, Minister Humphreys, coming from a rural background herself, understands that we need to continue to invest in rural Ireland and ensure our communities have quality amenities.

“If we want to attract more people back to our towns, if we want to keep our young people here when they finish their training or college, we must put our money where our mouth is.  In my role in the Department of Housing, I am working to ensure that planning and housing matters are rural-proofed and that access to services and housing is attainable for all.

“Well done to all community groups for their applications and I look forward to seeing the investment brought to life over the coming months,” Minister Burke concluded.