Writes Ciaran Dineen
Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, has announced that Passage West is one of 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 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.
Other successful towns to receive funding alongside Passage West are Fermoy, Bandon, Charleville, Macroom and Castletownbere. Grants of up to €8,000 can be awarded to each premises. Those eligible for the grant include commercial, residential and unoccupied buildings that are located in town centres of the chosen locations.
Each premises will be grant-aided up to 70% of the cost of the works. This will be increased to 80% if three or more adjacent properties are undertaking works. A total spend of €8,000 is allowable on each building, including up to €500 on planting/greenery, up to €1,500 on painting and/or a mural, up to €2,000 on decluttering and repairing your shop front, up to €4,000 on lighting the architectural features of your building, up to €4,000 on a shop window display, up to €4,000 on replacing your signage and up to €4,000 on a canopy or awning.
Those who may be interested in applying are encouraged to do so quickly, given that applications must be submitted to the Council by the 7th September.