Laois tourism projects, footpaths, car parks and Portlaoise streets get cash under Covid-19 town and village fund

Conor Ganly

Reporter:

Conor Ganly

Email:

news@leinsterexpress.ie

coronavirus covid-19

Slieve Bloom Bike Trail set to benefit from funding

Smart cycle stops, new tourism signs, work on footpaths and car parks are among the final projects in Laois to get funding under a scheme which aims to help towns and villages to adjust to Covid-19 restrictions.

Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, today (Monday, October 12th) announced details of a further 137 rural towns and villages that will benefit from €4.3 million under the Accelerated Measure of the Town and Village Renewal Scheme.

The aim of the funding is to enable towns and villages to implement immediate measures that will encourage people into towns and villages to shop and socialise while adhering to public health guidelines. The funding is facilitated through the Government’s July Covid-19 Stimulus package.

The latest set of grants brings to nearly €400,000 the amount of money allocated to a variety of projects around Laois since August. A total of 15 projects have received funding.

The projects funded in Laois are:

€36,000 for creation of a smart cycle stop along the Slieve Bloom cycle track. 

€36,000 to upgrade of Laois Tourism & amenity signage cohesion.

€22,500 for footpath improvements and extensions in Cullohill.

€22,500 to provide of smart cycle stop at Durrow.

€22,500 for car park construction to enhance local amenities in Woodenbridge.

€36,000 to improve the public realm to include street furniture and planting in Portlaoise.

The funding announced today is in addition to €6.1 million allocated by Minister Humphreys to 226 towns and villages since July under the Town and Village Renewal Scheme for COVID-19 adaptations.

Local authorities were invited to submit applications under three separate rounds of funding under the Accelerated Measure.

Four Laois schemes out 106 projects nationally were approved under Round 1 funding August 3. The Laois projects shared €107,500. 

Five Laois initiatives benefit under Round 2 which saw 120 projects around Ireland approved on September 11. The Laois projects shared out €108,900 at the time.

Details can be found here.

Minister Humphreys said the funding is important.

“Our rural towns and villages have always played a huge role in supporting businesses and communities by providing spaces for people to meet, socialise and shop locally. Recognising their importance to the economic and social well-being of rural areas, the Town and Village Renewal Scheme has invested significantly in towns and villages over the last number of years.

“The scheme is now more important than ever to assist businesses and communities to address the challenges that COVID-19 has brought to their towns and villages," she said.

The Department says the projects approved will assist businesses/communities in towns and villages to adapt to the specific challenges posed by COVID-19 (e.g. social distancing) and to increase footfall and generate economic activity in the short-term. It says these projects have been identified by Local Authorities in conjunction with local community groups and businesses.

Applications under the Standard Measure of the Town & Village Renewal Scheme, which will support the medium-term recovery of rural towns and villages from the impacts of COVID-19 are currently being assessed.