Major improvements on the way for four West Cork towns

September 1st, 2021 7:10 AM

By Kieran O'Mahony

At the launch of the streetscaping scheme in Bandon were county mayor (centre) Cllr Gillian Coughlan with, from left: Margaret and Pat Fitzgerald, Pat Dooley and Jonathan Kelly from Bandon Tidy Towns. (Photo: Brian Lougheed)

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FOUR West Cork towns are set to receive a significant boost after being selected to benefit from a new streetscape enhancement fund announced earlier this week.

Bandon, Castletownbere, Macroom and Passage West, along with two north Cork towns, will see their streetscapes and shopfronts enhanced after Cork County Council was allocated €320,000 under the scheme, funded by the Department of Rural and Community Development.

A key part of ‘Our Rural Future’ the Streetscape Enhancement Initiative Fund of €7m is designed to make these towns most attractive places to live, work and visit.

Under the scheme, property owners will be provided with funding to improve the facades of their buildings, carry out artwork and install features such as canopies and street furniture.

Grants of up to 100% – or €8,000 – are available to cover works including painting, signage replacement, shopfront improvement, scaffolding, materials, lighting, street furniture and planting.

‘Enhancing building facades and shopfronts can lead to a distinct and memorable identity for towns, reinforcing pride of place for residents and unforgettable impressions for visitor,’ said county mayor Cllr Gillian Coughlan.

‘This scheme will enable property owners and businesses in these towns to further partake in the great community effort that goes into creating a colourful welcoming town centre.’

Deputy chief executive of Cork County Council James Fogarty said the funding scheme for the successful towns provides an excellent opportunity for communities and businesses to continue the work undertaken in the past two years with the Council under Project ACT.

‘The local focus will ensure that the selected towns will be able to best express themselves, and continue their success in attracting visitors, placemaking and enriching local economic and community life,’ said Mr Fogarty.

Cork South West TD Christopher O’Sullivan is encouraging residents to get in touch with Cork County Council to have their say on what upgrades are needed.

‘It’s a fantastic opportunity to not only improve the look of your town, but also improve its environment with opportunities for greening and tree planting,’ said Deputy O’Sullivan.

‘If you have any projects in mind please get in touch with Cork County Council who will have the final decision over how this funding is allocated,’ he added.

Business and property owners are encouraged to apply through their relevant local Municipal District Office and the closing date for applications is September 7th.

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