Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, has announced the 26 towns and villages that will benefit from a €2.6 million fund to support the enhancement of streetscapes and shopfronts.
Under the Streetscape Enhancement Initiative, retailers and property owners 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.
The overall purpose of the Scheme is to give our towns and villages a facelift and make them more attractive places to live, work or visit.
Minister Humphreys today announced the 26 towns that have been selected for funding with each local authority to receive €100,000 as part of the Initiative.
The Minister urged businesses, property owners and retailers in the 26 towns to apply to their local authority to avail of funding.
Making the announcement, Minister Humphreys said, “when I announced this initiative last year, there was a hugely positive reaction from businesses and retailers. I’m therefore delighted to announce 26 additional towns that will benefit from €2.6 million in funding from my Department. We all take pride in our rural towns and villages and want them to be as attractive and welcoming as possible. That’s exactly what Streetscapes is all about.”
“I want as many businesses and property owners to get involved over the next few weeks and to avail of this funding. You may wish to give the front of your shop a new lease of life and repaint it in bright, vibrant colours. Perhaps you want to cover your windowsills with flowers and plants or purchase street furniture, canopies for your customers to enjoy. Or maybe you have an even bolder idea. This time round, I’m encouraging neighbouring businesses to submit a joint application to their local authority if they have a more ambitious proposal. For example, under the first tranche of funding, some businesses transformed their facades with attractive murals – that’s one way to make your town stand out.”
Ian Talbot of Chambers Ireland said, “continued investment in our towns is a critical driver of the domestic economy. In the post COVID landscape, including the rapid evolution of flexible working arrangements, making our towns ever more attractive places to live and work is essential to wellbeing and economic growth. We welcome this initiative and encourage the rapid deployment of these funds in the locations chosen.”
The 26 towns due to receive the funding were selected by each local authority 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.
The initiative is a key part of Our Rural Future and will make our rural towns and villages more vibrant and attractive places to live, work and visit.
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