Cllr Jarlath Munnelly has welcomed the decision from Monday’s meeting of Mayo County Council, in which Ballina was approved as Mayo’s candidate town for the Fáilte Ireland Tourism Destination Town Scheme for 2021. This follows the announcement earlier last week that Belmullet will be put forward as the candidate town from the county for next year.
The Fine Gael councillor explained that the decision came about following his placing of a motion at the May meeting of Mayo County Council, requesting council management to prepare a report on The Tourism Destination Town Scheme initiative, to give clarity as to what towns could be put forward.
The scheme was announced earlier this year, whereby local authorities could nominate up to two towns per year, which are eligible for total funding of €500,000 towards tourism enhancement works in the town.
Cllr Munnelly stated: "This is excellent news for Ballina. I have been lobbied by the various tourist partners in Ballina, who were eager for the town to be included in this scheme. Instead of splitting the funding for 2020 between two towns, Mayo County Council have made the decision to pick one town for 2020, and the same for 2021. So Belmullet stands to receive €500,000 next year, and Ballina the following year.”
At the meeting, in response to Cllr Munnelly’s motion, council management proposed a list of towns for this initiative for 2020 - 2023. Cong will be the nominee town for 2022, and Westport/Castlebar for 2023.
Cllr Munnelly concluded that this would give the town an opportunity to work with tourist partners to make an impact on the public realm of the town, and that he intended to continue to seek funding opportunities for Ballina.
He concluded: "A public realm plan has been prepared for Ballina. This will be an opportunity to deliver on some aspects of that plan. If re-elected to Mayo County Council, I will continue to lobby for other funding opportunities for the town."