Funding of €282,000 has been secured for Local Improvement Schemes in Westmeath.
The funding will allow for the repair and improvement of small roads and laneways leading to local people’s homes and businesses that are not under the normal maintenance of the Local Authorities.
The funding has been welcomed by Minister of State for the Office of Public Works, Kevin "Boxer" Moran, who said: "The re-launch of the Local Improvement Scheme is an important step in the Government's drive to support rural Ireland. I know how important this scheme is for people who live in rural areas, and often in very remote rural areas. This funding, in conjunction with the local community's own resources and the resources of the local authorities, will allow for the maintenance and improvement of many local roads all over the country.
“I have been pressing very hard on the restoration of this key scheme since being elected, and I am delighted with today’s news. The commitment was given in the programme for Government and is intended to be a clear beneficiary of ongoing economic recovery.”
Fine Gael deputy for Longford-Westmeath, Peter Burke, also stressed the importance of the funding to local communities.
“For people who live in rural areas in Westmeath and in our small towns and villages around the county, road connectivity is hugely important. The ability of people to access their own premises, a farmyard or a neighbour's house is compromised when roads are in a bad state of repair. For emergency services, too, bad road surfaces can lead to delays in accessing sites and can damage their vehicles.
“An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar along with Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring, have announced the Government is providing a total of €10 million to fund this scheme across the country. This will be combined with a small contribution from householders (10 to 15 per cent of total costs ) and local authorities, and will allow for the maintenance and improvement of many local roads all over Ireland. The re-introduction of the scheme is an important part of the delivery of the Government's Action Plan for Rural Development."