Thursday, 13 July 2023
Department of Rural and Community Development
876. To ask the Minister for Rural and Community Development when the review of areas eligible for inclusion in the CLÁR Programme will be finalised; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [35348/23]
The CLÁR Programme provides funding for small-scale projects in designated rural areas that have experienced significant levels of de-population over a defined period. Since the programme was relaunched in 2016, it has supported a wide range of measures.
The CLÁR 2022 programme awarded a record €12.2 million with 292 projects supported.
A review of CLÁR areas nationally was undertaken in 2021 using the 2016 Census of Population data. The review examined the most recent changes in population patterns throughout the country on the basis of this 2016 data. It also examined the approach to developing the existing CLÁR designations, which is based on 2002 data, and considered how changes in population since then impacted on designations.
From the review it is clear that many areas have seen population growth in the relevant period rather than decline, and indeed the most recent census data published by the Central Statistics Office point to population growth across all counties since 2016.
The details of the review are being considered by my Department before any decisions are made in relation to areas throughout Ireland which will be designated as eligible for CLÁR.