For the second year in a row Ballina has been selected by the Heritage Council and the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage to receive funding under the Historic Towns Initiative (HTI ).
The north Mayo town will receive €140,000 to continue works started in 2019 with HTI funding to enable essential structural repairs and conservation works to eight properties in the Pearse Street Architectural Conservation Area, in order to address dereliction, allow for occupancy and promote sustainable adaptive re-use.
Last year the town received the same amount of money under the scheme which is administered by Mayo County Council. The local authority's conservation officer, Siobhan Sexton, last September outlined to local councillors that the council had received four submissions for funding under the scheme in 2019 and the council had identified other properties that were in need of conservation work in the Pearse Street area. The kind of work carried out included window replacement, stonework repairs and changes to shop fronts and signage.
Ballina was chosen as one of six towns to receive the funding following a competitive process inviting local authorities to propose projects for heritage-led regeneration in one historic town in their area, with the selection process completed in February 2020, but delayed in line with public health restrictions.
Gerry Luskin, President of Ballina Chamber stated: "We welcome this announcement, it is positive news for our town. I want to acknowledge and thank past Presidents Paul Regan and Hugh Rouse, who ensured this initiative was followed through and kept lines of communication open with the Heritage Council and Mayo County Council, supporting a soon-to-be launched Town Centre Health Check, and public realm plan, which feeds into the Ballina 2023 mandate and vision for the future of our town."
Chief Executive of the Heritage Council, Virginia Teehan, commented: "The Heritage Council is very pleased to, once again, administer the Historic Towns Initiative in 2020. Working with partners to preserve our built heritage is an important Heritage Council priority and we very much look forward to working with Minister of State Malcolm Noonan in this, and all aspects, of the care of our rich heritage."