Businesses in 124 towns and villages across Ireland are to benefit from a new fund designed to make rural towns and villages more colourful, vibrant and attractive.

Businesses in 124 towns and villages across Ireland are being encouraged to apply for a share of a €7m 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.

“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”

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.

Sprucing up our town centres

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.

“This unique initiative is about making our rural towns and villages more attractive and welcoming places for locals and visitors alike,” said Minister for Rural and Community Development Heather Humphreys, TD.

“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 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

“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,” Humphrey added.

“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.”

By John Kennedy (john.kennedy3@boi.com)

Published: 24 August 2021

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