Plans for an upgrade of the Square in Ballyragget have been approved to go forward to a public consultation process.
Members agreed to proceed with the plans for the village renewal project at the December meeting of Kilkenny County Council, and the public consultation process is due to begin in January.
The renewal of the town is one of four schemes across the county – the others being Callan, Graignamanagh and Thomastown – that are being 75% funded by Kilkenny Leader Partnership’s rural development programme. Twenty per cent of the funding is being provided by the council and 5% by the local communities. In total the projects are due to cost €1.65 million, according to the council.
A follow-up report on the Ballyragget project is due to be presented to the council at its March meeting, and public consultation on the other projects is expected to begin early in 2013 once local contribution finances are finalised.
The progress on the project was welcomed by North Kilkenny-based councillors at the December meeting.
“We have been very pleased with the very positive response from the council and Leader,” said Cllr Catherine Connery (FG). “It is very important to the people of Ballyragget that the development take place.”
County Council vice chairman Maurice Shortall said it was “great to see an association like Ballyragget persevering” and that the community was “ahead of the rest in securing corporate funding to complement the funding from the council.”
Cllr John Brennan (FG) said he hoped it could serve as a pilot project and an example for other areas, and that it “will create some confidence in the local towns and villages.”