Four Laois towns will benefit from new Covid-19 supports under the Town and Village Renewal Scheme.
Abbeyleix, Mountrath, Mountmellick and Portarlington will share €107,500 under the scheme announced by Minister Heather Humphreys today.
The aim of the scheme is to provide financial support to “support rural businesses and communities to rebuild in response to Covid-19”.
Widening walkways to provide seating, providing sheltered areas outside local amenities and adapating community spaces for social distancing are among the practical examples that the funding can be used for.
Abbeyleix have been approved funding of €40,000 to “erect a semi-permanent modular canopy structure between the exisiting library and the fountain within Market Square”.
Portarlington, Mountrath and Mountmellick have received €22,500 for “modification and enhancement of the public realm to help comply with social distancing and encourage increased footfall”.
Almost €2.8 million is to be given to towns around the country with €40,000 the highest awarded to any individual town.
The €107,500 received by Laois towns compares to €81,000 received in Kilkenny, €90,000 in Offaly, €140,000 in Kildare, €72,363 in Carlow and €114,350 in Tipperary.
“This is a good initiative and I am asking the Council to get the works done ASAP,” said Laois TD Sean Fleming in welcoming the news.
“It is vitally important that we increase footfall in rural towns and villages by supporting them to adapt to this ‘new normal’ as a result of COVID-19,” said Minister Humphreys.
This funding will benefit communities by altering the streetscapes so that people can shop, work and socialise safely.
I have increased the funding for the Town and Village Renewal Scheme as part of the €17 million rural package that my Department secured under the July Jobs Stimulus. This means that even more towns and villages will benefit from supports.”
The extra funding of €10 million for towns and villages under the July Stimulus Package is in addition to €15 million already ear-marked for the Town and Village Renewal Scheme for 2020.