Hynds Square Portlaoise
Two Laois locations have been earmarked for the development of permanent outdoor dining facilities in a tranche of funding announced today by Fáilte Ireland.
The Dublin Road in Durrow has received €32,348, while Hynd's Square, Portlaoise has got €129,446.
The funding comes with the proviso that all locations are subject to Local Authority planning approvals and public consultation
The two Laois locations are part of a scheme of 38 permanent Outdoor Dining facilities to be developed in 19 counties nationwide.
The funding was welcomed by Laois Offaly TD and Minister of State Seán Fleming.
"Laois County Council applied for and was granted funding for two locations to develop streets and public spaces to facilitate year-round weather-proofed outdoor dining with the objective that these works will increase the outdoor dining capacity. Roof structures and awnings are key elements while also ensuring the safety for all.
"I would like to acknowledge the good work by Laois County Council in securing the funding through their applications and I look forward to work commencing in these two areas in the near future," he said.
Laois Offaly Minister Pippa Hackett also welcomed the money.
“Laois deserves to have its towns enhanced for visitors and residents alike so I’m delighted to see Portlaoise receiving €129,446 and Durrow receiving €32,348 to create permanent outdoor dining structures. My colleague Catherine Martin is ensuring that all parts of the country get to showcase their tourism offering. Well done to all at Laois County Council who were involved in applying for this funding,” she said.
Fáilte Ireland’s Outdoor Dining Enhancement Scheme opened for applications in March 2021 and comprises two parts. This Wednesday's announcement relates to Part Two of the Scheme.
All Local Authorities were invited to apply to Fáilte Ireland for funding under Part Two - Local Authority Weatherproofing & Outdoor Dining Enhancement Scheme - to develop streets and public spaces to facilitate outdoor dining in urban tourism centres, enabling access to outdoor seating for extended periods throughout the year. 38 locations are set to benefit under the Scheme with almost €9million allocated.
Part One of the Scheme - Outdoor Seating and Accessories - supports individual hospitality businesses with grants of up to €4,000 for seating, tables and outdoor accessories. Closing date for receipt of applications is September 30th 2021.
Minister for Tourism, Arts, Culture, Sport, Gaeltacht and Media, Catherine Martin T.D and Paul Kelly CEO Fáilte Ireland were in Howth, Co Dublin to make the official announcement.
Minister Catherine Martin said: "The aim of this Scheme is to support tourism and hospitality jobs and help businesses develop new ways of catering for domestic and international tourists outdoors. Access to outdoor dining facilities will continue to be a key part of industry recovery as we look forward to 2022 and beyond. This scheme further strengthens the Government’s deep commitment to develop tourism and necessary infrastructure nationwide.”
Paul Kelly CEO of Fáilte Ireland added: “This Scheme supports resilience and survival in the short term and the recovery of the tourism sector in the long-term. Outdoor dining and hospitality will now be a permanent feature of our hospitality offering and businesses need to be supported to facilitate this for longer periods throughout the year.
''We have already seen the success of the first part of this Scheme, which provides individual businesses up to €4,000 towards the cost of outdoor seating. This second part of the Scheme being announced today is implemented in partnership with Local Authorities and will build on strengthening the outdoor dining offering around Ireland.
''We have learned during COVID-19 that people want the option of dining outdoors; this scheme will make dining areas suitable in a wider range of weather conditions so that they can be used for longer periods of the year, helping businesses towards sustainable recovery.”
Moira Murrell, Chair of the CCMA Rural Development, Community, Tourism, Culture and Heritage (RCTCH) Committee stated: “The implementation of the Local Authority Weatherproofing and Outdoor Dining Enhancement scheme will be hugely beneficial for towns and cities around Ireland, enhancing infrastructure and allowing local hospitality businesses to adapt and develop their offering. We look forward to working with Fáilte Ireland on the completion of this scheme.
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