Artists impression of a pedestrianised Lower Main Street in Portlaoise, that was due to happen in July and August 2021.
Projects in Portlaoise, Mountmellick, Mountrath and Stradbally are getting a slice of nearly €500,000 to encourage people to use outdoor recreation spaces that are Covid-19 safe.
Laois County Council has received €490,000 in ‘Additional Outdoor Infrastructure Fund’ which has been welcomed by Green Party representatives in Laois.
Some of the money will go to the repurposing and transformation of a portion of Market Square, Portlaoise to provide additional outdoor space for amenities such as public seating and dining.
Other cash goes to public seating in a portion of Lyster Square, Portlaoise in the vicinity of Lyster Lane.
Funding is also goint to the pedestrianisation of Portlaoise’s Lower Main Street which involves the reassignment of parking spaces on Lower Main Street to a "defined shared area".
The central portion of O’Connell Square, Mountmellick is getting money for the provision of additional outdoor space for amenities such as public seating and dining.
The council will be introducing a more formalised parking arrangement in the centre of Mountrath to enable the adapting and enhancement of public areas to improve accessibility, public realm improvement works and provision of cycling infrastructure and street furniture.
Outdoor seating/dining/recreation area is also earmarked for the Court Square, Stradbally, with double overhead permanent canopy structure. Works would involve the reassignment of existing unmarked road space, lay by, unregulated parking area through the installation of perimeter bollards, tarmac surfacing, installation of two overhead parasol/canopy structures and bench seating.
Sean McManus, Portlaoise Local Area Representative said he was delighted to welcome this funding which will provide for a number of projects which were recently discussed at a Green Party Webinar on Revitalising Portlaoise, including active travel, pedestrianisation and outdoor dining.
John Holland, Local Representative for the Graiguecullen/Portarlington area said the funding will go a long way in supporting business in Laois who have suffered over Covid and allow for the continued, safe reopening of businesses in our town centres.
"I am delighted to see funding towards the improvement of our public spaces and amenities,” he said.
Noting that although Portarlington did not receive funding under this stream Mr Holland added that Laois County Council has applied for funding for additional planters and outdoor seating under this scheme for Portarlington and hopefully they will be successful in future streams.
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