The Minister for Environment, Community, and Local Government, Mr. Phil Hogan T.D., today (18 March) announced that €2.975 million would be provided to local authorities for a dedicated Public Area Enhancement scheme for the busy summer tourist season.
The Minister said, “2014 has been a challenging year so far for local authorities in terms of managing their public spaces due to the exceptionally inclement weather conditions we have experienced and I know that towns and cities across the country will be hoping for another very successful tourist season this year, following on from the success of Gathering Ireland in 2013.
This additional, once-off fund is being provided to support local authorities’ efforts to prepare and maintain their public areas in an effort to maximise the economic benefits that can flow from increased visitors to their towns, cities and counties.”
The Minister suggested that examples of work that might be undertaken could include additional support for community groups involved in the SuperValu TidyTowns competition, improvement works to public parks and recreational walking areas, cleaning and tidying of older graveyards or the cleaning and making safe of derelict buildings.
The funding has been allocated to all city and county councils on a proportional basis and the Minister asked that, “wherever possible, local authorities should undertake work in co-operation with community-based groups.” All work undertaken should be additional to work already planned and must also be supplemented with 25% matching funding from the local authority.
Allocations to individual local authorities are set out in the following table: