Good start but more needed to breathe life into rural market towns

Fine Gael TD for Mayo, Deputy Michelle Mulherin, has welcomed the €30 million Village and Town Renewal Scheme announced this morning by Minister for Rural Affairs, Anne Phelan which includes funding totalling €225,000 for three projects in Mayo.

Deputy Mulherin said, “I am delighted with the announcement of funding totalling €225,000 for three projects in Mayo under the €30 million Village and Town Renewal Scheme. I have been persistently campaigning over the past number of months for incentives to bring life and business back into market towns.”

“Funding totalling €50,000 has been allocated to two Swinford projects, firstly to help renovate the former Courthouse to become a creative hub and secondly to create a historical route around the centre of the town, including a new riverside walk. In Castlebar, €125,000 has been allocated to begin work on a Master-Plan to transform the former Military Barracks into a regionally-important creative hub and visitor attraction and another €50,000 has been allocated to develop a non-weather dependent facility in Geesala along the Wild Atlantic Way.”

“More is needed. I  have put forward such proposals to support small businesses in town centres and to encourage the repopulation of the empty residences in the town centre. I have met with Minister Michael Noonan recently who has agreed to undertake a feasibility study in relation to them. I have also met and consulted with Council Engineers and Planners, Pat Spillane, Chairman of CEDRA; and with Ann Phelan, the Minister with responsibility for Rural Affairs. I am also part of the Fine gael Standing Up for Rural Ireland Campaign I am very keen with press on with further initiatives for Rural Ireland. This will help realise the objective that the economic recovery which has well and truly taken hold will be felt in the four corners of the country and by every citizen regardless of where they are living."


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