Westmeath’s towns and villages are to benefit from funding of €380,000 under the Town and Village Renewal Scheme, announced on Friday (November 4 ).
Seven towns and villages across the county have been earmarked to receive a cash injection under the programme.
Moate is to benefit from €70,000 in funding, while Kilbeggan tops the list with €100,000. Castlepollard will also receive a significant allocation of €80,000, while Clonmellon will receive €50,000, Ballymore and Kinnegad €30,000 each, and Streamstown €20,000.
Cllr Michael O’Brien (Ind ) welcomed the funding for Moate, which he said would go towards a variety of improvement works to help make the town more attractive for locals and visitors alike.
“The funding will go towards a comprehensive signage scheme to publicise Moate’s attractions, heritage, and services, a plan for Main Street, and public realm enhancement works at the old harbour,” he explained.
“This funding is very important for rural Ireland in order to help local communities and their economies grow.”
The funding was announced by Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, Heather Humphreys; nationally, more than 170 towns and villages will receive funding totalling almost €10 million.
It can be used for a wide variety of projects, identified by local authorities in conjunction with local community groups and businesses, including improving playgrounds and footpaths, tourism amenities, and public art pieces.
It will also fund a selection of works to improve the streetscape and public realm of towns and villages, to help make them more attractive and more sustainable places in which to live and work.
Deputy Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran praised the pro-active approach of Westmeath County Council in getting applications in on time for the scheme, and working with local businesses and communities to identify projects which could have a positive impact on their towns and villages.
“Now that the projects have been approved, work can get underway on improving these local towns and villages nationwide,” he said.
Minister Humphreys also announced that she has secured increased funding for the scheme for 2017, when €12 million will be made available to towns and villages across the country.