€1.34 million to help revitalise 14 towns and villages in Mayo

Minister for Community Affairs Michael Ring launched one of Mayo's outstanding historial treasures, North Mayo's Heritage Centre at Enniscoe, Crossmolina. Pictured with the Minister at the launch were Dara Calleary TD, Brendan Walsh (North Mayo Heritage Centre head researcher), Susan Kellett (Enniscoe House and Heritage Centre board member), Hugh Traynor (heritage centre manager), Peter Hynes (Mayo County Council chief executive), and Senator Michelle Mulherin. Photo: Henry Wills.

Minister for Community Affairs Michael Ring launched one of Mayo's outstanding historial treasures, North Mayo's Heritage Centre at Enniscoe, Crossmolina. Pictured with the Minister at the launch were Dara Calleary TD, Brendan Walsh (North Mayo Heritage Centre head researcher), Susan Kellett (Enniscoe House and Heritage Centre board member), Hugh Traynor (heritage centre manager), Peter Hynes (Mayo County Council chief executive), and Senator Michelle Mulherin. Photo: Henry Wills.

Minister for Rural and Community Development Michael Ring this week allocated €1.34 million to help revitalise 14 towns and villages in Mayo. The funding was approved under the 2017 Town and Village Renewal Scheme. More than 280 rural towns and villages across the country are set to benefit from over €21 million in funding under the 2017 Town and Village Renewal Scheme. The scheme is a key part of the Government’s Action Plan for Rural Development.

The scheme focuses on projects which can help to enhance and develop rural towns and villages, with a particular emphasis on stimulating economic development. Funding awarded to individual towns and villages this year generally range from €20,000 to €200,000, with 40 projects receiving in excess of €100,000 for more ambitious proposals.

Minister Ring stated: “The Town and Village Renewal Scheme is an important part of my Department’s work to rejuvenate and revitalise rural Ireland and should have a significant impact on towns and villages across the country. We are supporting superb projects across the country including 14 in Mayo which will give a real lift to the towns and villages concerned. I am delighted to support projects in Balla, Ballinrobe, Ballycastle, Ballycroy, Ballyhaunis, Belmullet, Breaffy, Claremorris, Foxford, Killala, Knock, Mulranny/Murrevagh, Swinford, and Turlough.

“Following on from the success of the 2016 Town and Village Scheme, I am delighted to be able to allocate €21.6 million this year for projects in 281 towns and villages right across rural Ireland. This funding will be put to good use over the coming 12 months for the benefit of the people who live in rural Ireland. This year’s allocation more than doubles the €10 million allocated to the Town and Village Renewal Scheme last year. This is a clear indication of the Government’s commitment to making rural Ireland a more vibrant and sustainable place to live.

Minister Ring continued: “I have placed a particular emphasis this year on projects which have the capacity to support the economic development of rural town and villages as well as their neighbouring townlands. The scheme will also support improvements to public amenities in town and village centres, to help make them more attractive places in which to live and work and to visit.

The projects in Mayo that have been approved for funding are (1 ) Ballycastle - €200,000 for a museum project; (2 ) Ballycroy - €48,000 for a courthouse gift shop and dark skies project; (3 ) Mulranny - €48,000 for an Old Irish goat tourism project; (4 ) Claremorris - €100,000 for Market Square and plaza enhancement works; (5 ) Foxford - €100,000 for an extension of the Admiral Browne Promenade; (6 ) Balla - €96,000 for enhancement works; (7 ) Ballyhaunis - €96,000 for town square enhancement; (8 ) Knock - €100,000 to create a shared surface plaza; (9 ) Swinford - €64,000 for an trail extension; (10 ) Ballinrobe - €100,000 for the upgrade of the roof of Ballinrobe Town Hall; (11 ) Belmullet - €100,000 for canal banks works; (12 ) Killala - €96,178 for work on the round tower and streetscapes; (13 ) Turlough - €100,000 to connect Turlough village with the museum and greenway; and (14 ) Breaffy village - €100,000 for a feasibility study and enhancement works.

Minister Ring went on to say: “I am delighted with the response which I received to the call for proposals this year. Among the successful projects which I am announcing are many fine examples of initiatives which will support enterprise and job creation. I want to thank the local authorities for their efforts and co-operation in engaging with local and business communities to identify these projects. Most of the funding will benefit towns and villages, with populations of less than 5,000 people.”

The allocation of €21 million by the Department of Rural and Community Development under the Town and Village Renewal scheme follows the roll out earlier this year of a range of other initiatives to support rural Ireland, including the CLÁR scheme, the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme, and the Local Improvement Scheme. Under the 2017 scheme, up to 80 per cent of the total cost for each approved project will be provided by the Department, with the remaining 20 per cent being provided either through community contribution and/or the local authority.

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