“Latest developments in National Broadband Plan will benefit those living in rural Wicklow” –Doyle

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Minister of State for Food, Forestry and Horticulture, and Wicklow TD Andrew Doyle has welcomed the news that more Wicklow premises will have access to commercial high speed broadband in the coming months.

Minister for Communication, Climate Action and Environment, Denis Naughten TD has announced that an additional 5,446 premises in Wicklow will have access to high speed broadband over the next 90 weeks.

“Lack of access to high speed broadband has been an issue in many areas of rural Ireland including parts of rural Wicklow; I am delighted that a strong government strategy has been put in place to remedy this problem. “

A Broadband Intervention Map has also been made available the Department’s website.  The map shows us that 67% of premises in Wicklow currently have access to high speed broadband provided by commercial operators.   This new initiative will ensure that 77% of premises will have access by the end of 2018 and the majority of the remaining premises will have access by the end of 2020.

“This latest progression highlights areas of Wicklow that do not have access to high speed broadband through commercial operators. Government intervention will ensure that each premises these areas will have access to high speed broadband by 2020. This will be of huge benefit to businesses, schools and households across rural Wicklow.”

For more information you can visit: www.broadband.gov.ie ;

Community groups and schools in Wicklow should apply for CLÁR funding- Doyle

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Minster of State in the Department of Agriculture and Fine Gael TD Andrew Doyle has called on community groups and schools in Wicklow to apply for funding through the CLÁR programme.

 

The programme, which has a budget of €5 million this year, forms part of the Government’s Action Plan for Rural Development which was launched in January 2017.

 

Grants are available for a wide variety of works in rural areas including playgrounds, car parks, public lighting, bus shelters, pedestrian crossings, speed safety signs and other safety measures at schools.

Minister Doyle said: “I would strongly encourage community groups and schools in Wicklow to apply for funding through the CLÁR programme.

“Funding will be made available for safety measures near schools and other community facilities, as well as funding for play areas.

“The safety measures coupled with funding for playgrounds and multi-use games areas will assist CLÁR areas to provide safe amenities for their young people thereby increasing the attractiveness of an area from both a social and economic perspective”.

“The scope of the programme will also be extended this year to provide capital funding for innovative, community based projects that do not qualify for other established schemes.

“Applications must be made through our local authority so I would encourage groups and schools with an idea or project proposal to make contact with Wicklow county council.”

Minister Doyle added: “This year my colleague Minister Ring announced a new initiative under CLÁR to support voluntary first-response organisations that provide an excellent service in rural areas, very often under very difficult circumstances.

“This funding will enable them to purchase or upgrade equipment that is fit for purpose in assisting them in their life-saving activities.”

This is the second round of funding Minister Ring has announced, having re-opened the CLÁR programme last October. The programme had been closed for new applications by Fianna Fáil in 2009 which was a huge loss to rural communities.

CLÁR forms part of a suite of measures introduced by Fine Gael to support our rural communities. Other important schemes such as the Rural Recreation programme and Town and Village Renewal Scheme will also open for applications shortly.

These funding streams are an important part of the Action Plan for Rural Development, Realising Our Rural Potential, which was launched by Minister Heather Humphreys in January 2017.

The Plan provides a framework for a co-ordinated approach across Government to support the economic and social development of rural Ireland.