Deputy John Paul Phelan
Kilkenny County Council should apply for funding for projects to help revitalise County towns and villages after Covid-19, according to Fine Gael TD, John Paul Phelan. .
Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, announced earlier this week that €15 million is to be made available through The Town and Village Renewal Scheme. The closing date is mid-July.
Deputy Phelan said: “ I’m delighted that my colleague, Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, has made this funding available to help rural communities in Kilkenny - making them more attractive places to live, work, socialise and raise a family.
“The initiative is a key part of Our Rural Future – the Government’s five year strategy to revitalise rural Ireland.
“The Town and Village Renewal Scheme is administered through Kilkenny County Council which is required to work with local communities and businesses to develop and implement proposals.
“I would therefore encourage Kilkenny County Council to submit their project ideas to make a positive and long-lasting impact on our towns and villages.
“Measures that will be supported by the 2021 Town and Village Renewal Scheme include:
- Tackling dereliction in town centres
- Turning vacant properties into remote working and community spaces
- Supporting Kilkenny County Council to run innovative marketing campaigns targeted at attracting remote workers to our county.
- Investing in green spaces, parks and recreational amenities
- Upgrading and improving shop fronts & streetscapes on Main Streets
- Projects that support and enhance the night time economy and add vibrancy to town
“Applications for funding are submitted to the Department of Rural & Community Development through Kilkenny County Council the closing date for the submission of applications is July 16,” Deputy Phelan concluded.
The previous maximum grant of €200,000 has been increased to €500,000 under this year’s scheme so that projects of scale can be supported.
Announcing the funding, Minister Humphreys said: “The focus of this year’s scheme is to renovate derelict and vacant buildings in our town centres and give them a new purpose – whether it is for remote working, cultural or community use. I have increased the maximum grant to €500,000 this year so that projects of scale and ambition can be put forward.
“I also want to see Local Authorities engaging with local businesses and property owners on our main streets and putting forward collaborative projects to upgrade shop fronts and enhance our streetscapes.
“Support is also available for murals in our town centres, perhaps dedicated to local cultural or sporting personalities and events. This is all about adding colour and vibrancy to our towns and villages making them more attractive places to live, work in and visit,” Minister Humphreys concluded.