Laois will receive funding of €108,900 for projects under the second round of the enhanced Town and Village Renewal Scheme
The focus of the funding is on measures and interventions that help Laois towns and villages to adapt to social distancing requirements and to provide safe environments that encourage people into towns and villages to shop and socialise.
Donaghmore, Stradbally, Durrow, Shanahoe and Ballylinan have each been chosen with the first four receiving €22,500 and the latter getting €18,900 for projects.
In Ballylinan, public realm works to include street furniture, landscaping and pathway upgrade to improve attractiveness and accessibility of village will be carried out.
€22,500 will be spent on the extension of an existing footpath from Donaghmore bridge to the Mill & Swallows Quarter local community amenity space and the provision of soft planting and formalisation of car parking.
In Durrow, the extension of an existing footpath and the provision of grass verging/soft landscaping and street furniture will take place.
Modification and enhancement of public realm outside Scoil Fionntáin Naofa in Shanahoe to ensure secure and safe access to the school will also be funded.
While Stradbally will receive €22,500 for repurposing of car parking spaces as outdoor spaces (parklets) for public seating and dining and enhancement of other central areas with landscaping and street furniture.
Fine Gael TD Charlie Flanagan welcomed the news, saying: “The projects approved will assist Laois businesses and communities to adapt to the challenges posed by COVID-19 and to increase footfall and generate economic activity in the short-term.
“The projects have been identified by Laois community groups and businesses in conjunction with Laois County Council.
“They include projects where outdoor spaces can be adapted for social gatherings, dining or the hosting of outdoor events and marketing campaigns to entice people back into towns and villages and investment in developing or improving the online presence of towns and villages.
“The funding is further evidence of the great cooperation of Laois County Council and Laois communities as they work together to come up with innovative ways of making the areas where we live, work, shop and socialise better places, particularly as we learn to live with Covid-19.”