Abbeyleix is getting €100,000 under a scheme that aims to give towns and villages a facelift and make them more attractive places to live, work or visit.
Under the Streetscape Enhancement Initiative, retailers and property owners in the Heritage town will be provided with grants that they can use to improve the facades of their buildings, carry out artwork or install features such as street furniture or canopies.
It is one of 26 towns that have been selected for funding with each local authority to receive €100,000 for a specific town. Laois County Council selected Abbeyleix in consultation with local businesses and community groups.
Local authorities will manage the initiative locally and will be advertising for applications in the coming weeks.
Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys, announced the funding. She urged businesses, property owners and retailers in the 26 towns to apply to their local authority to avail of funding.
The types of projects that could be supported include:
· Strategic collaboration between property owners to paint buildings and/or shopfronts in vibrant colours
· Upgrade or restoration of historic / traditional shopfronts
· Provision of street planting, shrubbery, trees and flowers boxes
· Installation of canopies
· Murals/public artwork
The funding was welcomed in Laois.
"I am very pleased to see this investment by the Government in our local towns and villages," said Sean Fleming, Minister of State in the Department of Finance.
"With more opportunities becoming available for people to work from home making our communities more attractive places to live and work is very important.
"We have great voluntary community groups who do a lot of work in making our rural towns and villages more attractive and welcoming. Improving the streetscapes and shopfronts for example with vibrant colours, canopies, flowers will go even further to make Abbeyleix Town even more inviting," said the Laois Offaly Fianna Fáil TD TD.
His Fine Gael colleague in Government Charlie Flanagan was also happy with the news.
“Continued investment in our towns is a critical driver of the domestic economy. In the post Covid landscape, with the increase numbers of people with flexible working arrangements, making our towns ever more attractive places to live and work is essential to wellbeing and economic growth,” said the Fine Gael TD.
The money was also welcomed by Laois Offaly based Green Party Minister and Senator, Pippa Hackett.
“I’m delighted to see this investment in Abbeyleix, and know that this funding will be put to good use," she said.
The initiative is a key part of Our Rural Future which is the Government's five year plan to develop rural Ireland.
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