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Rural Support Schemes

The Rural Support Schemes include the Town and Village Renewal Scheme (TVRS), the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme (ORIS) and the CLÁR Programme.


Further details on each scheme can be found below.



The Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme (ORIS) supports the development of new outdoor recreational infrastructure and the necessary repair, enhancement, or promotion of existing outdoor recreation infrastructure in countryside areas across Ireland. The Scheme is funded under “Our Rural Future” which specifically prioritises the growing outdoor activity tourism sector as part of a long-term vision for a vibrant and sustainable rural Ireland.

The policy acknowledges that outdoor recreation plays a key role in achieving the ambition for rural Ireland to be a destination of choice for outdoor activities and adventure tourism. The increase in tourism will provide opportunities for employment growth in rural areas through local businesses and entrepreneurs using the tourism assets in their area in a sustainable way to support recreational activities such as walking, cycling and canoeing.

Measures funded previously under the ORIS are;

Measure 1: Small Scale Repair/ Development/ Promotion and Marketing
Measure 2: Medium Scale Repair/ Upgrade and New Trail/ Amenity Development
Measure 3: Strategic Large Scale Repair: Upgrade and New Strategic Trail/ Amenity
Project Development Measure:     Development Costs for Strategic Large Scale Projects


ORIS 2023

The TVRS is designed to support the revitalisation of rural Ireland through a renewed focus on town centre economic and social recovery and regeneration. This will be achieved through projects focusing on town centre regeneration, enhancing our Streetscapes and bringing vacant and derelict buildings back into use as community multi-purpose spaces through refurbishment and renovation.

In 2023 the scheme also included a focus on Town or Village Centre Markets (e.g. Farmers Markets, Open-Air Markets, Local Trader Markets, Artisan Markets or similar) in alignment with the Programme for Government.

This was to be achieved through the provision of infrastructure to support the facilitation of these outdoor markets (e.g. public realm works, service provisions, canopies etc.). The tourism potential of such markets has gained recognition from regional experiences for tourists; and regional promotions and branding as a tourist attraction in towns and villages. Markets must be built on ethical and sustainability principles to ensure longevity and must be developed with high visibility and improved public realm which will attract a high level of footfall.

The Scheme is administered through local authorities, who work closely with local communities and businesses to develop place-based proposals that can make a lasting impact in revitalising rural towns and villages across the country.

The 2023 Scheme was designed to support the revitalisation of rural Ireland through a renewed focus on town centre regeneration and enhancing economic and social vibrancy in line with the Town Centre First policy.

This was to be achieved through:

  • Town Regeneration projects
  • Enhancing our streetscapes
  • Green spaces / recreational amenities in town or village centres
  • Refurbishment of existing community centres
  • A new option to allow local authorities to acquire plots of land to enable development of town
  • Regeneration, such as town parks, plazas, etc.
  • Bringing vacant and derelict buildings/ back into use as multi-purpose or community spaces
  • Projects to support town or village centre markets, e.g. farmers markets or artisan markets.
  • Town/village centre plaza development

T&V 2023

The CLÁR (Ceantair Laga Árd-Riachtanais) programme provides funding for small scale projects in designated rural areas that have experienced significant levels of de-population.

The scheme was re-opened in 2016 to support the development of remote rural areas through small-scale capital projects involving collaboration between local authorities (LAs) and communities, as well as for other community-based organisations.

Eligible areas in Westmeath are shown on the CLÁR MAP Westmeath

Measures funded previously under the CLÁR programme are:

Measure 1: Developing Community Facilities and Amenities (via LA)
Measure 2: Mobility, cancer Care and Community First Responders Transport (direct to DRCD)
Measure 3: Our Islands (direct to DRCD)

CLAR 2023



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Contact Information

Community Development Section
Westmeath County Council
Áras an Chontae
Mount Street, Mullingar N91 FH4N
Phone: 044 9332196, 044 9338969 or 044 9332258
Email: dce@westmeathcoco.ie