Castlebar and Ballina can now avail of local authority funding for projects to help in the response to Covid-19, Fine Gael Deputy Alan Dillon has said.
Deputy Dillon said, "I am delighted that my colleague, Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, has announced the expansion of the Town and Village Renewal Scheme.
"As part of the changes, 41 towns with populations of over 10,000 will be eligible to apply for funding for the first time specifically for Covid-related measures.
"This means that Castlebar and Ballina will be assisted in funding projects for Covid-related projects such as; The creation of outdoor areas to accommodate social interactions in a safe environment to include furniture and awnings; enhancement of town centres by painting, cleaning and improving pedestrian access; provision of equipment to run local festivals or events to bring people back into towns and villages and the enhancement of community buildings to accommodate remote working.
"The Town and Village Renewal Scheme provides funding for projects which support Mayo towns and villages to be more attractive and sustainable. This year the scheme was adapted to support projects that aid the economic and social recovery of our towns and villages in response to Covid-19.
"Castlebar and Ballina can each apply for up to €40,000 to increase social activity in towns and address social distancing measures that we all now face as a result of Covid-19.”
He added that Minister Humphreys has also increased the number of applications that Local Authorities can submit for other smaller towns and villages with populations of less than 10,000 people.The closing date for this new round of funding is August 28 with the initiative for the larger towns also closing on the same date.
Deputy Dillon concluded: "I would encourage large towns, as well as towns and villages with populations of below 10,000, to engage with Mayo County Council to identify projects that will help to bring confidence back to communities and businesses in the locality."