Laois County Council have received €500,000 from Failte Ireland in a bid to enhance tourism in Portlaoise.
Chief Executive John Mulholland confirmed the news at the May monthly meeting yesterday.
It was previously announced back in December that Portloise had been earmarked for significant funding by Fáilte Ireland to develop its tourism potential as part of the Destination Towns scheme.
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.
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 news, Minister Charlie Flanagan said: “I am pleased that the funding promise of €500,000 has been received by Laois County Council.
“The new scheme will provide funding to Laois County Council to enhance public spaces in Portlaoise in a way that will engage tourists.
“The Destination Town Initiative is part of the National Tourism Development Authority’s work to drive a better regional spread of overseas and domestic visitors and spend.
“Tourism is a unique industry in terms of its ability to boost local job creation and sustain rural communities.
“It is the country’s largest indigenous employer, but the sector has been hit very hard by the current crisis, with the majority of tourist attractions and hotels remaining closed.
“As we begin to emerge from this crisis, we need to ensure that the tourism sector in County Laois is ready for business and now more than ever the Destination Status and the funding allocation is very welcome for Portlaoise town.”