Public urged to avail of grant schemes

Kilkenny Borough Council is encouraging the public to avail of a number of different local grant schemes designed to improve the city and its various events.

Kilkenny Borough Council is encouraging the public to avail of a number of different local grant schemes designed to improve the city and its various events.

Three different grant schemes for 2012 were confirmed by the borough council at a meeting on Monday evening. Town Clerk Brian Tyrrell said that the funding was there to be used.

“Members have provided this in the budget and it is important that the public avail of it,” he said.

The ‘Grants for Works of Public Amenity’ scheme allocates funding to members of the public wishing to establish or upgrade a community facility. Mr Tyrrell said that this grant would be of particular benefit to residents’ groups, and could aid Kilkenny’s future Tidy Towns ambitions.

For a project to qualify, the proposed facilities to be provided must be available for the use of the general public or particular age-groups, such as a children’s playground. Works that qualify also include parks, sports facilities, scenic walks, local museums, and community or recreation centres.

Applicants for grant assistance must submit realistic cost estimates, maps showing the location of the project, and details of its future maintenance.

The borough council also confirmed an allocation of €10,000 for the ‘Streetscape Paint Scheme’ this year. The money is to assist with the cost of painting the front façade of buildings within a zone in the city centre.

Cllr Malcolm Noonan enquired about a specific funding allocation to encourage business owners in the city to avail of more traditional shop-front signage.

“At the moment, we are getting the opposite – a proliferation of these plastic signs,” he said.

The Streetscape Paint Scheme was introduced for the first time in 2010. Initially the take-up on the grant was very good, with 29 applications – 25 of which were approved. Last year, there were just 13 applicants, and only eight of these decided to avail of the scheme in the end.

The third scheme - Arts Grants - entails the disbursement of arts grants for individuals, groups and organisations based in the Kilkenny administrative area. There are three different categories, including grants for organisations promoting the arts, equipment purchasing grants, and grants for individual artists.

The closing date for the Amenity Grant Scheme and the Arts Grant Scheme is Friday, April 13, while initial applications for the ‘Streetscape’ grants must be in by early June.