Clare Co Council Rural and Community Development Officers

Clare Co Council Rural and Community Development Officers are also a good point of contact for grant support – Rural & Community Development Officers | A- Z directory | Contact us | Council | Clare County Council (

Congella McGuire, Heritage Office, Clare Co Council can be contacted regarding Heritage and Biodiversity grants -

Malcolm Noonan, T.D, Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform, today announced the opening of calls to the 2022 Community Monuments Fund. A total of €5 million has been allocated to the fund for 2022 – an increase of 20% on 2021 funding, and more than a threefold increase since 2020 when the fund was established.


Heritage Funding

There are a range ongoing funding and grant opportunities relating to all areas of heritage across Ireland. The below provides information about current grant programmes which offer funding opportunities to community groups and individuals, at various times of the year, both within Clare County Council and at a national level. (A flexible approach is adopted by Clare County Council and finance is sought as opportunities arise, and from alternative funding sources where required). It is important to carefully read the funding eligibility so as to ensure that your project qualified under the relevant programme.

Clare County Council runs a range of Community Grant Schemes, many of which relate broadly to heritage or have heritage management aspects. 

Clare County Council has launched its Community Supports Scheme for 2021. It is available to support community and voluntary groups wishing to undertake specific projects under the relevant categories of the Scheme. Animation support will be provided to community groups through the team of Rural & Community Development Officers.  For more information see CLARE COUNTY COUNCIL COMMUNITY SUPPORTS SCHEME 2021 GUIDELINES FOR APPLICANTS

Clare Local Development Company provides supports to the self-employed, community and voluntary groups, entrepreneurs, the unemployed, farm families, children and youth.

CLÁR Scheme

CLÁR (Ceantair Laga Árd-Riachtanais) is a targeted investment programme for rural areas. The Clár Scheme  aims to provide funding for small scale infrastructural projects for schools/ established community groups projects in areas which have suffered the greatest levels of population decline. The CLÁR Scheme is managed by the Department of Rural and Community Development. 

The Heritage Council supports a wide range of heritage projects throughout the country through their annual grants programme. Information on Heritage Council funding programmes can be viewed HERE

There is a range of grants and financial measures available which are outlined below. Some of these are more applicable to certain types of building, and certain types of owners.  They can often be combined together and used to provide funds year after year. In general, they are annual schemes and have application forms, which have to be submitted before works commence; inspections are carried out and there are conditions pertaining to most.

Built Heritage Investment Scheme 2022

The BHIS is one of two built heritage funding schemes run by the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage in association with the Local Authorities. Through grants of up to €15,000, the BHIS assists owners of heritage structures – including those on the local authorities’ Record of Protected Structures and those in Architectural Conservation Areas – to meet their obligations to care for their properties. 

GLAS Traditional Farm Buildings Grant Scheme

The Heritage Council, in partnership with the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine manages the GLAS traditional farm buildings grant scheme. The principal objective of this scheme is to ensure that traditional farm buildings and other related structures that contribute to the character of the landscape and are of significant heritage value, are conserved for active agricultural use.

Financial Assistance for Architectural Heritage is availed nationally.  Financial assistance is provided to assist with the conservation and restoration of heritage properties through schemes which are generally administered by the local authorities. 

Irish Georgian Society Grants Scheme: This is operated by the Irish Georgian Society on an annual basis for conservation works to significant architecture and allied features of all periods. Grant must be returned if structure is sold within 3 years. An application form and details are available directly from the Irish Georgian Society. Closing date varies.

Section 482 (Revenue Commissioners): Consolidated Taxes Act Structures and gardens of significant historical or architectural interest can, with the approval of the Revenue Commissioners, receive tax breaks on any funding expended on their repair or upgrading. There is a requirement to allow limited public access (for a minimum of 60 days), which can be attractive for buildings already with public access, such as offices, commercial buildings, galleries or guest houses.

The Historic Towns Initiative is aimed for important heritage projects located within the country’s historic towns.  In 2019, Clare County Council and Kilrush & District Historical Society have been successful in securing funding for a heritage-led regeneration project in Kilrush. The Historic Towns Initiative is administered by the Heritage Council. For further information on financial assistance for protected structures and historic buildings visit HERE or contact  (065) 6846408

The Architectural Conservation Officer in Clare Co Council is Bláthmhac Ó Muirí


The below information is drawn from

Funding for Natural Heritage and Biodiversity related projects are available from a number of National, European and International sources. The sections below provide information on different sources of funding available.

Community Environment Action Fund

The ‘Community Environment Action Fund’ promotes sustainable development by assisting small-scale environmental projects at local level.  Projects involve partnership arrangements between local authorities and various local groups including community groups, schools and environmental NGOs.  Communities can apply through the Greener Clare programme for funding under the Community Environment Action Fund previously known as the Local Agenda 21 Environmental Partnership Fund. For further queries relating to this grant scheme please email

Environment and Nature Fund 2021 is now closed for applications

The Community Foundation for Ireland is inviting community groups to apply for grant funding through the Environment and Nature Fund to engage an ecologist and develop a Community Biodiversity Plan (CBP) for their local area.  Within the scheme, three levels of grant funding will be offered:
Strand 1: Grants of up to €5,000 for community groups to work with an ecologist to classify their local habitats
Strand 2: Grants of up to €7,500 for community groups who carry out the work outlined in Strand 1 in collaboration with one or two land managers/owners to classify habitats at landscape scale
Strand 3: Grants of up to €10,000 for community groups who carry out the work outlined in Strand 1 in collaboration with three to five land managers/owners to classify habitats at landscape scale
Timeline: Opening Date for applications 11th October 2021
Closing Date for applications 12 November 2021

Once you have ensured that you meet all of the grant criteria, you can then make an online application by clicking on the link HERE

Local Communities: Actions to help pollinators.  Local Community projects play a leading role in implementing the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan.  For support and guidance, visit  HERE

The Heritage Council is a statutory independent body, established under the Heritage Act, 1995. The Heritage Council provides funding for individuals and agencies who wish to carry out projects related to the conservation of Ireland’s heritage.

Two Funding Schemes for Biodiversity Recording have been announced by the National Parks and Wildlife Service and the Royal Irish Academy. Both schemes provide an opportunity for experienced Dragonfly and Damselfly recorders to target specific habitats or species for recording.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is an independent public body established under the Environmental Protection Agency Act, 1992. The EPA also provides funding for environmental research which may include biodiversity research.

Geological Survey Ireland offers a number of small grants each year to support the sustainable development, promotion and recognition of Ireland’s geoheritage. These grants are aimed at local community-driven outreach and development initiatives with a geoheritage theme. The Geoheritage Grant Scheme 2021/22 is aimed at supporting small community-driven geoheritage initiatives to assist:

  • the delivery of public outreach, educational and geotourism activities to promote the geoheritage of an area; or

  • the delivery of required educational and geotourism activities to help aspiring projects to develop as de facto geoparks; or

  • the delivery of required educational and geotourism activities, e.g., helping UNESCO Global Geoparks maintain their UNESCO Global Network status

The Local Authority Waters Programme is working to identify the issues affecting water quality in Ireland. The Department of Housing, Local Government, and Heritage funds LAWPRO to provide the Community Water Development Fund.  This fund supports community groups to enhance the quality of local streams, rivers, lakes, and coastal areas. The fund has been in place since 2017, with growing interest year on year.

The Marine Institute is Ireland’s national agency with responsibility to undertake, co-ordinate, promote and assist in marine research and development and to provide such services related to marine research and development. The Marine Institute provides funding for biodiversity related research in the marine environment.

The Irish Research Council for Science, Engineering and Technology (IRCSET) is funded by the State under the National Development Plan. Their Embark Initiative is aimed at knowledge creation for the long-term benefit of society and the economy. Embark currently funds research in the areas of basic research, Post-graduate research and Post-doctoral research, which may occasionally include biodiversity related research.

Teagasc is a semi-state organisation established under legislation enacted by the Irish government. It provides integrated research, advisory and training services for the agriculture and food industry in Ireland. Under the Walsh Post-graduate Fellowship Scheme, Teagasc provides support and funding for Post-graduate research in all aspects of agriculture, horticulture, food, agri-food economics, rural development and rural environment, as well as specific topics identified for priority funding each year.

The Forest Service is responsible for ensuring the development of forestry within Ireland in a manner and to a scale that maximises its contribution to national socio-economic well-being on a sustainable basis that is compatible with the protection of the environment. Funding may be available for biodiversity related forestry research from time to time. These funds were expended by COFORD (The National Council for Forest Research and Development).

European Funding for Natural Heritage

EU LIFE is the Financial Instrument for the Environment, introduced in 1992, is one of the spearheads of the European Union’s environmental policy. It co-finances projects in three areas: Life-Nature, Life Environment and Life Third Countries.

The European Science Foundation (ESF) is an association of 78 member organisations devoted to scientific research in 30 European countries. Following agreement with funding agencies from a number of European countries, the European Science Foundation launched a first Call for Outline Proposals for research projects to be executed under the EUROCORES programme Challenges of Biodiversity Science (EuroDIVERSITY).

The European Union has numerous funding opportunities for environmental projects. An overview of the current funding opportunities available for Irish Researchers is available through the 7th EU Framework Programme Ireland website.

International Funding for Natural Heritage

The Global Environment Facility (GEF) is the leading multilateral entity responding to the global threat to biodiversity. It is a fund specifically established to support the CBD and other global environment agreements. GEF provides money for developing countries.

As a member of the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF), Irish researchers can apply for the funding opportunities that they occasionally announce.


LEADER wants to support communities and businesses to take action on climate change through Co. Clare’s rich renewable resources. LEADER supports for renewables include:

  • Training, networking and mentoring for renewable energy production, supply chain development and consumer demand
  • Capital grants and feasibility funding to support renewable energy production and utilisation

Contact Clare Local Development Company to apply.

Leader Renewables | CLDC

Small Scale Local Festivals and Summer Schools

Scheme is designed to support local cultural festivals and summer schools which are not in receipt of other central Government monies and which may not be eligible under funding criteria for larger scale events supported by Fáilte Ireland, the Arts Council and similar bodies. Events which are funded by the Arts Council and/or Fáilte Ireland are not eligible. Funding available under this scheme is typically capped at €5,000. Full details of this year’s scheme are available at and it is currently envisaged that this funding scheme will run again in 2022 and will launch in the first quarter of the year. Keep an eye on the website.

The Creative Ireland Programme

The Creative Ireland Programme is a culture-based, all-of-government programme which is designed to promote individual, community and national wellbeing. Under its Creative Health and Wellbeing Pillar, the Programme seeks to ensure that diverse, well-informed and sustainable forms of creative interventions focused specifically on improving health and wellbeing are available and accessible in the community. A significant element of the Creative Ireland Programme funding is dispersed through local authorities to support individual creativity strategies at local authority level and to ensure that initiatives are rooted in the community. The organisation can contact their local authority Creative Ireland Coordinator, Helen Walsh, for further details at

Local Creative Youth Partnerships (LCYPs)

LCYPs is being piloted with Limerick Clare ETB. These partnerships are one of the key initiatives of the Creative Youth Plan, and seek to develop closer local networking and provide more opportunities for young people to engage with creative activities, particularly those previously least served. The LCYP coordinator for Limerick Clare is Monica Spencer ( ).

The Communities Energy Grant Scheme (formerly known as Better Energy Communities or BEC)

The Communities Energy Grant Scheme (formerly known as Better Energy Communities or BEC) is aimed at large community projects which contain domestic residential housing upgrades, commercial and/or not-for-profit organizations/businesses and public sector non-residential works and as such does not accept applications for standalone projects. This grant does offer funding towards the installation of solar panels, however, a fabric-first approach is usually recommended. This would include works such as external insulation, replacing windows, etc. Further details may be found on our website, where you can also download the guidelines for more in-depth information: 

In order to be included in an application for the next Communities Energy Grant Scheme, you will need to contact a project coordinator, who will provide advice for the projects you wish to undertake and may be in a position to invite you to become part of their application.  Please follow the link below to a list of organisations who have, in the past, taken part in the Better Energy Communities/ Communities Energy Grant scheme:

We would strongly advise that you speak with your County Council and a Participating Energy Supplier as they may have their own schemes to provide financial assistance towards energy saving measures. Participating Energy Suppliers have an incentive to reduce their energy consumption and may offer support and financial aid, a list can be found here: 

Communities Energy Grant Team, SEAI, T. 01 8082162

The Community Environment Action Fund

The Community Environment Action Fund – (formerly known as the Local Agenda 21 grant), available through the Environment Dept of Clare Co Co. is due to be announced in early 2022 – – Apply for the Community Environment Action Fund (

Money for Communities who want to take Climate Action

Money for Communities who want to take Climate Action. The Climate Action Fund, overall objective is to support and empower communities to shape and build low carbon, sustainable communities in a coherent way.  Examples of projects to be funded may include:  

  • repair hubs;
  • community biodiversity gardens.
  • community EV charging points;
  • small renewable energy projects;
  • community EVs;
  • cycle parking

Community Climate Action Programme – The Community Climate Action Programme will have two phases, each running over 18 months and accounting for €30 million each. Details on the strands of Phase 1 are as follows:

  • Strand 1 Phase 1 – Action: Building Low Carbon Communities:
    • €24 million will be provided to local authorities to support communities – large and small, rural and urban – to build low carbon communities in a considered and structured way. Further details of the roll out will be available here in due course
  • Strand 2 Phase 1 – Education: Climate Education, Capacity Building and Learning by Doing:
      • €1million has already allocated through the Creative Climate Action fund. See successful projects here.
      • Open Call for Education, Capacity Building and Learning by Doing Projects/Initiatives: An open call will be run by Pobal valued at €5 million seeking projects / initiatives that facilitate community climate action through education, capacity building and learning by doing. Link to funding here

The Community Activities Fund

will support groups, particularly in disadvantaged areas, with their running costs such as utility or insurance bills, as well as with improvements to their facilities. Groups will also be able to use the funding to carry out necessary repairs and to purchase equipment such as tables and chairs, tools and signage, laptops and printers, lawnmowers, canopies and training equipment. The once-off fund will be allocated under the Department’s Community Enhancement Programme and will be administered locally in Clare by the Clare Local Community Development Committee in Clare Co Council (065) 6821616 –