Positive news: €1.6 million in grants is to be shared across towns, villages and rural areas in Kilkenny
An investment of €1.6million in projects across Kilkenny is set to give a huge boost to the county’s climate and active travel ambitions, as well as the local economy.
The grants windfall has been allocated under the government’s July Stimulus package ‘Active Travel’ and Climate Adaptation grant scheme and will see footpaths and cycleways improved across the county.
Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform, Malcolm Noonan welcomed the grants and said it was one of the highest allocations in the country.
Andrew McGuinness, Chairman of Kilkenny County Council, said it was very positive news for Kilkenny.
Construction of cycleways in Ferrybank and Bennettsbridge, improvement of pedestrian crossings in Graignamanagh and Thomastown, and improved footpaths in many communities will all be possible under €1.6million in grants, it has been revealed.
The grants will fund projects that can make a real difference to people, according to Minister for Climate Action, Communication Networks and Transport, Eamon Ryan, announcing the scheme this week.
Footpaths and cycleways that allow children to walk or cycle to school and to local sport clubs; the installation of footpaths and pedestrian crossings that improve access to local amenities and links to public transport, and improvements to town and village centres that will support hard hit retail and hospitality sectors, are all to be funded.
One of the main projects in Kilkenny under the €1,227,000 in Active Travel grants will include works to improve Ormonde Street, in Kilkenny city, including making part of the street one-way, which has been allocated the biggest grant of €500,000. In total 28 projects have been funded.
A total of €373,000 has been allocated to the county under the Climate Change Adaptation Grants, which will fund an additional 10 projects.Projects included are in the city, and in all corners of the county and the grants have been warmly welcomed.
Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform, Malcolm Noonan said that this was not just a welcome boost for the county’s climate and active travel ambitions but for local contractors and the local economy.
“This is a most welcome announcement and an endorsement of the good work of Kilkenny County Council in submitting an ambitious programme of works, leading to one of the highest allocations in the country. The pandemic has shown that we need to rapidly transform our towns and villages to make them more pedestrian and cycle friendly and the importance of embedding resilience in our local economies. This funding will go a long way towards supporting that radical change.
Chairman of Kilkenny County Council, Andrew McGuinness, said he was delighted with the allocations.
“This is very positive news for Kilkenny and very welcome,” he said. “I’m particularly happy to see O’Loughlin Road allocated €22,000 for a new attenuation system with overflow. Also, €6,000 for Riverside Drive for four gullies and 30m pipe and €10,000 for The Fairways. A total of €45,000 allocated to resurface and provide public lighting on the lane between Bishop Birch Place and Dublin Road is fantastic news also and is something we have been seeking funding for for some time.
“Graignamanagh will receive a significant boost as €17,500 is allocated for remedial works where roads on the main street were significantly damaged by recent weather events.”
Fine Gael TD, John Paul Phelan highlighted that this funding will allow Kilkenny County Council make roads around the county more resilient to severe weather.
“The projects included in the scheme include major investments such as €500,000 for improvements on Ormonde Street in the heart of Kilkenny city to €20,000 for a crossing in Freshford village and they can make a real difference to people.
“There is also funding for footpaths and a cycle track in Bennettsbridge, wider footpaths in Callan, footpath and drainage works in Mullinavat and so much more,” Deputy Phelan said.
“A total of €373,000 is being made available for climate change adaptation measures under the Department’s regional and local road maintenance and renewal grant programme. Ten projects in all are being funded and these include new overflow works on the O’Loughlin road; remedial works in Dunbell as well as repairs on Graignamanagh’s Main Street.
“The recent severe weather has again highlighted the challenges presented by climate change on our road infrastructure. The Climate Change Adaptation grants now being provided will help Kilkenny County Council to deal with the essential repairs needed in the aftermath of the severe weather but also to take steps towards making their road networks more resilient in the longer term.
County councillor Maria Dollard said this is a welcome boost to the ambitions of the local authority in reconfiguring our towns and villages towards cycling and walking. “This funding will go a long way in making our public spaces safe for cyclists and walkers. In particular we need to be mindful of people with physical and intellectual disabilities who will benefit greatly from quieter and safer public realm and where walking and cycling is afforded an equal footing with the needs of motorists.”
The full list of 38 projects
Active Travel Grants
Climate Change Grants