Facelift to polish up Castlebar’s vacant shops

The Facelift Project team get busy on Main Street, Castlebar. Photographed from left: John Kinsella, Po Kweh, Helen O’Hara, and Robert Swierkowski.

The Facelift Project team get busy on Main Street, Castlebar. Photographed from left: John Kinsella, Po Kweh, Helen O’Hara, and Robert Swierkowski.

A new project has been launched to give Castlebar’s town centre a ‘facelift’ by tackling the eyesore that is derelict and vacant buildings.

The Facelift Project will see teams of volunteers and employment scheme workers painting, polishing, and shining-up the town’s derelict commercial units in a bid to beautify streetscapes, attract shoppers, and appeal to new tenants.

Initially 20 buildings have been targeted for a facelift, mainly in the town centre, but Helen O’Hara, founder of the Love Castlebar civic pride initiative, is hopeful the project will go on to tackle derelict and vacant commercial units throughout the rest of the town.

She said the Facelift Project is all about generating some positivity.

“I think the negative feeling when you see derelict and vacant units strikes everyone,” she explained. “We know resources are sparse in terms of public funding and retailers are already at the pin of their collar. So we thought this would be a civic initiative that we could take on.”

The project is supported by the local Tidy Towns committee, South West Mayo Development Company, Castlebar Town Council, and many of the town’s property owners, auctioneers and business people.

The project will see owners of the vacant properties supplying the paint while the Facelift Project team supplies the elbow grease. Albany are supporting the drive by providing supplies at a discounted price.

“The aim is three fold,” continued Ms O’Hara. “We hope to improve the built environment for everyone’s benefit, restore vacant units back to turnkey so a possible tenant could see the potential in the place, and spark some civic pride.

“The Facelift Project is not a magic bullet but it is an extremely inexpensive, highly impactful, initial impetus.

“Many hands make light work and we're inviting everyone who’s remotely handy with a brush, a cloth, a picker or a paintbrush to get involved. If you lack handiness but are willing you are also very welcome,” added Ms O’Hara.

The team started their first building on Main Street this week.

Anyone who would like to get involved with the Love Castlebar Facelift Project can text Helen O’Hara on (087 ) 7529922, email [email protected] or visit the Love Castlebar Facebook page.

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