Monday, 3 August 2020
Minister Humphreys announces first towns and villages to benefit from new COVID-19 supports
- 106 towns and villages to benefit immediately from €2.8 million in funding.
- Funding to help communities to shop, socialise and work safely in light of Covid-19 Pandemic
- July Stimulus Package includes additional €10m for towns and villages, €5 million for upgrading and improving community centres and €2 million extra to support the islands
The Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, has today (Monday, August 3rd) announced details of the first €2.8 million in funding approvals from her Department to help rural towns and villages to adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The funding will benefit 106 towns and villages throughout every county in Ireland.
This first tranche of funding announced today under the enhanced Town and Village Renewal Scheme recognises the need to support rural businesses and communities to rebuild in response to COVID-19.
Practical examples for which the funding will be used include:
- Widening walkways and footpaths to provide seating for shoppers
- Providing sheltered areas outside local amenities
- Enhancements to community centres to allow for remote working
- Adapting community spaces, playgrounds and other outdoor areas for social distancing
- Supporting the establishment of ‘Cycle Cafes’.
Speaking today, Minister Humphreys said:
“It is vitally important that we increase footfall in rural towns and villages by supporting them to adapt to this ‘new normal’ as a result of COVID-19.
This funding will benefit communities by altering the streetscapes so that people can shop, work and socialise safely.
I have increased the funding for the Town and Village Renewal Scheme as part of the €17 million rural package that my Department secured under the July Jobs Stimulus. This means that even more towns and villages will benefit from supports.”
Minister Humphreys continued:
“Local Authorities throughout the country have been developing creative and innovative proposals to increase footfall and assist businesses in our rural towns and villages.
This tranche of funding announced today is part of an enhanced €25 million Town and Village Scheme which will continue to rejuvenate rural communities across Ireland.
Further approvals under this hugely popular scheme will follow in a series of funding rounds that will be announced in the coming weeks. I expect that up to 500 towns and villages will be supported this year under the Town and Village Renewal Scheme.”
Examples of projects being supported in today’s announcement include:
- Macroom, Co. Cork – Revamp of town centre to include painting, cleaning, installation of street canopies, street furniture and adaption of streets to allow businesses introduce outdoor seating.
- Kildare Town, Co. Kildare – Removal of existing car-parking spaces in the Market Square to facilitate social distancing, recreational use by the community, and outdoor eating and queuing for patrons of businesses on the square.
- Carlingford, Co. Louth – Provision of café-style outdoor furniture, seating, parasols and traffic segregation in key areas of the town, and an activation plan for the town in order to increase footfall.
- Kinlough, Co. Leitrim – Equipment for the setup of a Business/Digital Hub in Kinlough Community Centre in order to facilitate remote working and meetings/training/conferences etc.
- Ballyporeen, Co. Tipperary – Enhancements to Community Centre to allow for remote working, an indoor farmers market and outdoor covered meeting area.
- Monaghan Town, Co. Monaghan – Large screen for outdoor town centre events, pop-up canopies, seating (mobile), green space set up at Courthouse Square and Town centre marketing promotion activity.
- Castlerea, Co. Roscommon – Purchase of outdoor seating, generator and outdoor cinema screen for outdoor events.
Aside from the enhanced Town and Village Renewal Scheme, the July Jobs Stimulus also included a fund of €5 million for upgrading and improving community centres, community facilities and community buildings, as well as an extra €2 million to support the islands.