Rathkeale is one of the towns that will benefit from the funding
A TOTAL of €380,000 has been earmarked for county Limerick towns and villages as part of a Government renewal scheme.
Patrickswell will receive the most, with almost €95,000 put aside for a village facelift, and to improve the general facilities.
Bruff, Askeaton, Newcastle West, Rathkeale, Abbeyfeale, Athea, and Cappamore have also all been allocated funds.
West Limerick native and Minister of State Patrick O’Donovan welcomed the funding.
“This is very good news for County Limerick’s towns and villages,” he said.
“This is very important for the residents and traders in these areas; and in my role as Minister for Tourism it is an issue that I am anxious to see prioritised and developed further.
“We have worked to ensure that the programme for Government has a strong emphasis on small towns and villages and this is the latest in a number of measures which we will take to ensure that these communities receive the investment needed to make the improvements that community groups and individuals want in their local areas,” said Minister O'Donovan.
Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, Heather Humphreys said that the Town and Village Renewal Scheme is “designed to help breathe life back into our rural towns and villages”.
The funding will be used for a wide variety of projects which will be identified by Limerick City and County Council in conjunction with local community groups and businesses.
Projects are expected to include the improvement of playgrounds and footpaths, tourist attractions, public art pieces and a wide range of works to improve the streetscape and ‘public realm’ of towns and villages.
It is hoped that the improvements will help to make them more attractive and more sustainable places to live and work.
“Our towns and villages are the heart of our rural communities, but many of them are still recovering from the economic downturn,” said Minister Humphreys this week.
“We placed a particular focus on supporting smaller towns, with populations of less than 5,000. A smaller number of projects are also being supported in each county for towns with a population of up to 10,000,” she added.
A total of €10m was secured for the nationwide scheme under Budget 2017, with each of the 26 counties receiving €380,000.
The total breakdown for Limerick is as follows: €94,350 for Patrickswell, €64,158 for Bruff, €49,300 for Newcastle West, €47,175 each for Askeaton and Rathkeale, €30,192 for Cappamore, €24,700 for Abbeyfeale and €22,950 for Athea.
Increased funding for the scheme will be available in 2017, when €12m will be made available to towns and villages across the country.
This will mean roughly €460,000 for each county next year.