Callan town centre
A project that plans to bring the centre of Callan town back to life has begun.
The Bridge Street/ Mill Street regeneration project is one of a handful of pilot projects being run across the country to encourage people to live in town centers again.
Funding of up to €100,000 will be allocated to encourage engagement with communities and local businesses, and arrive at practical solutions that can be delivered to achieve the objective of increasing the number of people living in the town.
The initiative was announced last October by the Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring, T.D.
Updating local county councillors on the project at the recent Callan Thomastown Municipal District Committee meeting, Director of Services Mary Mulholland said the funding has been received by Kilkenny County Council.
The local authority are now engaging with local property owners to identify the issues and barriers to the empty properties being used, and to come up with proposals to overcome those issues.
Some of the buildings will be selected and a plan will be made for them, what they could be used for and what benefits would be gained from energy refits.
Ms Mulholland described this as a “really important project.”
The budget will allow the council to do the work needed to identify buildings but not to do work on them.
The same issues are coming up in the other five towns that are part of the pilot scheme, the meeting was told - the shop spaces are not needed and the living space over them no longer meets the standards people expect.
Ms Mulholland said the work is really worthwhile and they expect an output from the project by the end of this year.
A Rural Regeneration Project at Callan’s Fair Green continues. Ms Mulholland told councillors that the County Council is currently preparing tenders for Phase 2 of the works.
The work is expected to commence at the end of September/ October.