Graig Garden in Graignamanagh Picture: Pat Moore
Rural streetscapes and shopfronts across county Kilkenny are set to benefit from a new €7million fund, Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, has today announced.
The Streetscape Enhancement Initiative will provide funding to property owners in over 50 rural towns and villages across the nation to improve the facades of their buildings.
The new initiative is a key part of 'Our Rural Future' and aims to make rural towns and villages more vibrant and attractive places to live, work and visit.
The types of projects that could be supported include:
· Strategic collaboration between property owners to paint buildings or shopfronts in vibrant colours
· Commissioning of murals in towns and villages
· Upgrade or restoration of historic / traditional shopfronts
· Provision of street planting, shrubbery, trees and flowers boxes
· Illumination and lighting of architectural features
· Installation of canopies and street furniture
· Decluttering of streetscapes with removal of unnecessary signs/wires
The bandings for the allocation of funding are based on the number of towns and villages in each county.
The group of nine counties with the highest number of towns/villages will receive €320,000 (Band A), the next group of 9 counties will receive €260,000 (Band B) and the last group of 8 counties will receive €220,000 (Band C).
Kilkenny is listed in Band B and is set to be allocated €260,000.
Announcing the new initiative today, Minister Humphreys explained how enhancements such as these bring significant local impact.
"We have all seen the huge success of towns like Kinsale, Adare and others who have put a major focus on improving their streetscapes by painting buildings in vibrant colours, upgrading and restoring their traditional shop-fronts and removing unnecessary clutter from their main streets," she said.
"Outdoor dining is here to stay and I believe that will only be a positive for towns and villages across the country. Through this fund, we want to make sure that people are looking out at vibrant, colourful and welcoming streets in our rural towns."
The Streetscape Enhancement Measure will be administered by Local Authorities who will be requested to nominate at least two towns per county. Participating towns and villages will be confirmed in the coming weeks.
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