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For Oral Answer on : 25/04/2023
Question Number(s): 90 Question Reference(s): 19232/23
Department: Rural and Community Development
Asked by: David Stanton T.D.


To ask the Minister for Rural and Community Development if she has considered the establishment of a fund which would be open to applications from schools to facilitate the use of buildings after hours for community purposes; and if she will make a statement on the matter.


The CLÁR Programme provides funding under a number of different measures for small-scale infrastructural projects in designated rural areas that have experienced significant levels of depopulation over a defined period. Since the CLÁR Programme was relaunched in 2016, it has supported a wide range of measures. Funding of over €57 million has been approved for almost 2,100 projects since its relaunch. I launched CLÁR 2023 on 29 March 2023 and the measures to be funded are:

  • Developing Community Facilities and Amenities (Measure 1)
  • Mobility, Cancer Care and Community First Responders Transport (Measure 2)
  • ‘Our Islands’ (Measure 3)

Projects for the development of community facilities on school property are eligible under Measure 1 once the facility is open to the public outside of school hours.

The Department of Education’s Guidelines on the Use of School Buildings Outside of School Hours provide information which schools should take into consideration where a third party is seeking to use school property or facilities. In such circumstances it is a matter for the owner of the school to decide whether a proposed use can be considered. A school, may, with the approval of the board of management, make arrangements to rent out their facilities for community purposes and reimburse the school at an acceptable rate to cover the costs involved.