SPEAKING in the Dáil, local Social Democrats TD Holly Cairns (right) highlighted the need for the Department of Community and Rural Development and the Islands, to extend funding for rural areas and to provide specific investment for villages.
The town and village renewal scheme, which has been tailored to address the challenges associated with Covid-19, has provided great support for 226 projects. But, she said, the scheme requires communities to almost compete against each other due to the limited funding available to each local authority.
Many areas which made excellent proposals did not get funding which is incredibly disheartening, especially this year, she said.
‘Ballydehob, for example, put together a fantastic application reimagining the whole village as an inclusive social space where locals and visitors could avail of refreshed spaces, outdoor eating, and new facilities for community events. But it did not get funding.
A targeted investment for villages with populations of under 1,000 would make a significant difference for those communities. I will keep pushing for more grants, and in the meantime I’d encourage all towns and villages to apply for the remaining funds.’