Portaloise has been earmarked for significant funding by Fáilte Ireland to develop its tourism potential as part of the Destination Towns scheme.
The funding will be allocated through Laois County Council as part of the €15.5million ‘Destination Towns’ initiative launched earlier this year by the National Tourism Development Authority.
Up to €500,000 per local authority across the country will be allocated in two rounds by Fáilte Ireland to boost the attractiveness and tourism appeal of towns nationwide.
The process of identifying the towns that receive funding commenced in mid-2019 and was led by the Local Authorities in consultation with Fáilte Ireland.
The second round of allocations, which includes Portlaoise, will take place early in Spring 2020 when further developmental work has concluded with Laois County Council.
Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Brendan Griffin T.D. confirmed that every county in Ireland will benefit and the first round of allocations will take place from January.
The Fáilte Ireland scheme is part of the National Tourism Development Authority’s work to drive a better regional spread of overseas and domestic visitors and spend.
Through the scheme, which was launched earlier this year, every Local Authority in the country had the opportunity to bid for funding of up to €500,000 to develop a town in the county to enable it to improve its tourism offering and make itself more attractive to visitors.
The Local Authorities will also provide funding for their projects.
The new scheme will provide funding to Councils to enhance public spaces such as squares, streetscapes and markets in a way that will engage tourists and enhance their experience in key towns.
This could include spaces for food and craft markets, areas for town centre events, public art displays as well as orientation and signage to help visitors explore a town’s local heritage.
Welcoming the scheme, Ann Doherty, Chair of the County and City Management Association EECC Committee said: “The concept behind Destination Towns goes to the heart of what the local authorities are about: making great places to live, work and visit.
“The initiative provides a really practical focus to help us to plan strategically for the infrastructure, attractions and public realm improvements that will appeal to visitors and unlock or enhance our tourism offering, including in collaboration with local business and communities.”
Fáilte Ireland’s Destination Towns scheme is funded under the Government’s Project Ireland 2040 strategy with the aim of driving sustainable growth in the Irish tourism sector and higher revenue and job creation around Ireland.
The full list of ‘Destination Towns’ that will receive funding between the first and second round allocations are:
Carlow County Council – Carlow
Cavan County Council – Cavan
Clare County Council – Ennistymon (second round)
Cork City Council – Cork
Cork County Council – Bantry
Donegal County Council – Bundoran
Dublin City Council – Dublin Docklands
Dun Laoghaire – Rathdown – Dun Laoghaire
Fingal County Council – Skerries
Galway City Council – Galway City
Galway County Council – Clifden
Kerry County Council – Tralee
Kildare County Council – Kildare
Kilkenny County Council – Kilkenny
Laois County Council – Portlaoise (second round)
Leitrim County Council – Carrick-on-Shannon
Limerick City & County Council – Limerick
Longford County Council – Longford
Louth County Council – Drogheda
Mayo County Council – Belmullet
Meath County Council – Trim
Monaghan County Council – Monaghan
Offaly County Council – Birr
Roscommon County Council – Boyle
South Dublin County Council – Lucan (second round)
Sligo County Council – Enniscrone
Tipperary County Council – Cashel
Waterford City & County Council – Waterford
Westmeath County Council – Athlone
Wexford County Council – New Ross
Wicklow County Council – Wicklow Town (second round)