Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, has today announced the 124 towns and villages that will benefit from a new €7 million fund to support the enhancement of streetscapes and shopfronts.

The Streetscape Enhancement Initiative is a key part of Our Rural Future and is designed to make our rural towns and villages more attractive places to live, work and visit.

Under the scheme, property owners will be provided with funding to improve the facades of their buildings, carry out artwork and install features such as canopies and street furniture.

The 124 towns and villages announced by the Minister today were selected by each local authority, which will now begin the process of advertising locally for applications.

The types of projects to be supported include:

  • strategic collaboration between property owners to paint buildings or shopfronts in vibrant colours
  • commissioning of murals in towns and villages
  • upgrade or restoration of historic / traditional shopfronts
  • provision of street planting, shrubbery, trees and flowers boxes
  • illumination and lighting of architectural features
  • installation of canopies and street furniture
  • decluttering of streetscapes with removal of unnecessary signs/wires

Welcoming the news Minister of State, Anne Rabbitte said:

Galway has been awarded €320k in funding for businesses and towns to carry out works to enhance the quality of the local streetscape.

Galway is one of nine counties with the most towns and villages, placing it in the top bracket of funding in the €7 million package announced on Wednesday.

The Streetscape Enhancement Initiative provides grant funding for improvements to building facades, artwork, lighting, greenery, and more.

Ballinasloe was awarded €200,000 for streetscape enhancement works last year, in a pilot for the project which has now rolled out nationwide as part of the government’s ‘Our Rural Future’ strategy.  The Streetscape Enhancement Measure will be administered by Local Authorities who will be requested to nominate at least two towns per county, which will be announced in the coming weeks.

Minister Rabbitte today encouraged business and property owners in any of the 124 towns and villages selected to contact their local authority for information on how to apply.

Announcing the 124 towns and villages today, Minister Humphreys said:

This unique initiative is about making our rural towns and villages more attractive and welcoming places for locals and visitors alike.

Whether it’s painting buildings in vibrant colours, upgrading shop fronts or installing canopies or street furniture – this fund will provide a welcome boost to rural communities the length and breadth of the country.

We all know that even the most modest of improvements to our buildings and streetscapes can make a huge difference.

And so over the coming weeks, local authorities will work closely with businesses and property owners to give our towns and villages the facelift they deserve.

The Minister added:

When I launched the Government’s new rural policy, ‘Our Rural Future’, I said I wanted to reimagine and revitalise rural communities.

This initiative is a key part of realising that goal. I am really looking forward to seeing the sort of proposals that are put forward over the coming weeks.

If you are a business or property owner in any of the 124 towns and villages selected, I encourage you to contact your local authority for details on how to apply.

I have no doubt the projects funded this initiative will make a huge difference to our rural towns and villages and, most importantly, the families who live there.

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