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Matthews encourages business owners to apply for streetscape funding available in six Wicklow towns

Date: 27 August 2021

Deputy Matthews was speaking following the funding announcement by his Green Party colleague – Minister Joe O’Brien. The funding has been made available under the Streetscape Enhancement Initiative which is part of the Government’s ‘Our Rural Future’ plan and is designed to make our rural towns and villages more attractive places to live, work and visit. The six towns/villages in County Wicklow that have been selected are Arklow, Baltinglass, Blessington, Enniskerry, Kilcoole and Wicklow Town. Discussing the funding, Deputy Matthews said:

“The maximum grant available is €8,000 through Wicklow County Council and offers property owners the chance to add a new level of vibrancy to their premises and will provide a welcome boost to the six designated areas across Wicklow. I hope that business owners will work together to maximise the benefit of the funding.

“As we continue to emerge from the pandemic our focus is turning to the future in terms of kickstarting activity in our local rural communities. What the pandemic has taught us is that it is possible for many people to work at home and while there will be some returning to offices, it is hoped that many residents will have the option to live and work in rural areas offering a new lease of life to villages and towns across Wicklow.

“The type of work that this funding is targeted at includes improving the facades of buildings, carry out artwork and install features such as canopies, lighting and street furniture and it is hoped that these works will make our rural towns and villages more colourful, vibrant and attractive places for locals and visitors alike.

“I hope that this funding can compliment previous government funding announcements in recent months including the provision of outdoor furniture, town and village renewal schemes and enhanced mobility programmes amongst others. These all make up part of a wider plan at generally enhancing our rural towns and villages that in some instances have been neglected in years gone by.

“There is a tight turnaround for applications for this funding – the is closing date for completed applications is 5pm on Tuesday, 7th September. I would encourage anyone interested to get their applications in as soon as possible and if I can be of any assistance, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

“I accept that there are many villages that have not been included in this round of funding and this will cause some disappointment but I look forward to working with my colleagues in Government to ensure greater levels of investment across County Wicklow and I hope that further locations can be included in future funding allocations, concluded Deputy Matthews.

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