Councillor Mike Kennelly this week welcomed the announcement that €10 million will be made available to Local Authorities this year to support the regeneration of rural towns and villages across Ireland. “Rural development is a key priority in the Programme for a Partnership Government. Ireland’s towns and villages area the heart of our rural communities, but the economic downturn had a significant impact on many of these towns and villages in north Kerry. It is incumbent on us to help them achieve a recovery.” Cllr. Kennelly welcomes the launch of the Town and Village Renewal Scheme this week so we can begin breathing life back into our rural towns and villages in north Kerry. “It is critical that towns and villages become areas where economic activity can flourish, where people can live and work, and where people can meet at a social level”, says Cllr. Mike Kennelly. “Consultation and collaboration will be key elements of the scheme. It will be administered through Kerry County Council, who will be required to partner with local businesses and local communities to develop and implement ideas that can make a real
and lasting impact in revitalising rural towns and villages.” A particular focus will be placed in 2016 on supporting smaller towns, with populations of less than 5,000.

Funding will be allocated to Kerry County Council to meet up to 85% of the total cost of each project. Funding will be released to Kerry County Council once projects are approved by the Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs. The maximum grant for any single project is €100,000. Types of activities which can be supported Measures which are taken under the Town and Village Renewal Scheme should have a sustainable and visible impact on the town/village. The type of projects to be funded under the scheme could include measure to:

• Increase the attractiveness of the town or village as a local commercial and social
centre, and increase its sustainability as a place in which to live and work
• Enhance its environment and amenity in the interests of residents, businesses and
• Enhance the culture and local heritage assets of the town/village & promote tourism
• Tackle minor physical infrastructural deficits and land assembly issues.

Cllr. Kennelly states that full details of the scheme will be made available to Kerry County Council in the coming days.