Fingal County Council has been awarded over €74,000 in funding by the Department of Rural and Community Development under the Town and Village Renewal Scheme for Accelerated Measures in response to COVID-19.
The money will support specific projects in Donabate, Portrane, Balrothery and Naul and will support those communities in responding to the specific challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, helping them to shop, socialise and work safely.
Welcoming the announcement of the allocations by the Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphries, TD, the Mayor of Fingal, Cllr David Healy, said: “Adhering to the public health guidelines protect ourselves and each other from COVID-19 is extremely important and this funding will allow these villages in Fingal to proceed safely with their community projects which, in turn, will support local businesses as they re-open.”
Funding of €25,000 from the Town and Village Scheme will allow Donabate and Portrane to stage, for the first time, two pyrotechnic events as part of the Council’s Festival of Flame at Halloween. The grant will ensure that events at Donabate Beach and Tower Bay Beach, Portrane, are run in a socially distanced manner and will also be used to cover the costs of promoting the event and providing the necessary equipment and safety measures.
A grant of €24,750 will enable the Seamus Ennis Arts Centre in Naul, which has been closed since March, to reopen safety and meet social distancing requirements. The money will be used to provide all-weather awning to extend the useable outdoor space, and outdoor furniture and sanitising units which will facilitate the Centre hosting a range of events and increase the social distancing capacity of the Centre.
The award of €24,300 to Balrothery for the provision of picnic benches, a smart bench, bicycle stands, lighting and safety bollards will allow the repurposing of public space in the village. This will facilitate the consumption of meals outdoors and assist local businesses who had to close indoor seating areas on their premises because of the COVID-19 regulations.
Fingal County Council’s Director of Economic, Enterprise and Tourism Development, Emer O’Gorman, said: “We have worked closely with Donabate and Portrane Summer Festival Committee, the Seamus Ennis Arts Centre and Balrothery Community Association to develop these projects and the €74,000 we have received in funding will allow the projects to proceed and deliver a much-needed boost to the local community and the local economy.”
The Town and Village Renewal Scheme is provided through the Department of Rural and Community Development to promote rural and community development and to support vibrant, inclusive and sustainable communities throughout Ireland.
This year, the Scheme has been tailored to address the emerging challenges associated with COVID-19 and 106 towns and villages across Ireland will benefit immediately from €2.8 million in funding announced this week.
The main Town and Village Renewal Scheme, which will be announced later this year, will have a particular focus on projects delivering an economic dividend and measures to respond to COVID-19 challenges, while continuing to support public-realm type activities, the enhancement of town centre amenities and increased footfall to towns or villages including tourism activities. The July Stimulus Package includes an additional €10m for towns and villages, €5 million for upgrading and improving community centres and €2 million extra to support the islands.