Minister Joe McHugh has announced that €1.1million is to be pumped into 11 local towns and villages in Donegal as part of the Government’s specially expanded regeneration programme.
“This is a phenomenal return from the Town and Village Renewal Scheme – a massive investment in our communities. Eleven towns and villages across Donegal will be celebrating today,” Mr McHugh said.
“Exactly a week ago we had Minister for Rural and Community Development Michael Ring in the county to show him just where the money was needed – we are delighted with the result. So, to get a return like this on the expanded scheme is huge for our local communities. The legacy will be immense.”
The Government Chief Whip said: “We secured €100,000 for enhancements of Portsalon, €100,000 for Kerrykeel Tidy Towns to develop a community centre and in Kilmacrennan the community has been given €100,000 to link the playground, Astro pitch and sports field.
“This is proof that the Government is delivering for communities.
“This money will make a massive difference to quality of life, for young people especially, it will revitalise communities and make them more welcoming places to live, work and socialise and it will sustain the unique vibrancy that you only get in our county.”
The other schemes being backed with €100,000 grants are enhancements of the environment and streetscape in Glenties, Killybegs, Killygordon and Muff; enhancement of tourism in Donegal Town; a music and creative hub in Moville; a caravan park in Castlefinn; and refurbishment of the tourism office in Buncrana.
Local Fine councillors celebrated the huge windfall for their areas, including Martin Harley, Stranorlar Municipal District, who said: “This news comes on the back of progress on school building projects for St Mary’s and St Columba’s in Stranorlar and the sports hall in Royal & Prior Comprehensive in Raphoe – all confirmed in recent weeks.
“You can see from the record of this Government just exactly how much investment is being piled into the Finn Valley. Castlefinn will get a real boost from more visitors and Killygordon will be a better place for this money.”
Glenties Councillor Terence Slowey said: “Glenties is a well-known and well-loved part of West Donegal and this money will help revitalise the village and give it a focal point while the work on the N56 around Mountcharles and up to Dungloe will drive more visitors to the town. All of this is massive for the people of Glenties.”
Inishowen Councillor Bernard McGuinness said: “The idea of a creative hub is brilliant for a place like Moville and this €100,000 is deserved backing for the inspiration of Clodagh Warnock and the Ceolan Community Group to put an old bank to good use and put on classes for more than 100 local kids.”
Donegal Councillor Barry O’Neill said: “Using old railway links for new tourism in Donegal Town is a brilliant idea. And getting €100,000 to bring the project to reality is phenomenal, especially as they are thinking ahead with a tourism app. We wish all involved every success and a special word of thanks to Donna Maskery who helped to drive the initial idea.”
In Killybegs former councillor John Boyle said: “This funding is badly needed to help enhance the streets of the town. The Government has invested heavily in Killybegs again this year with €6.5million already spent on the harbour and €4million more to come, and Minister McHugh has secured €3million for the tourism college. This is another win for the town.”
Inishowen Councillor Mickey Doherty said: “Muff Community Development will make sure this €100,000 goes a long way to enhancing the village and making it somewhere people are proud to live and raise families. Funding of this scale in our community is going to leave a legacy. It’s a huge success.”
Michelle McKenna, Fine Gael party member in Inishowen, added: “Credit should go to the Buncrana Chamber of Commerce for spotting a need for a refurbished tourism office in the town and there’s no doubt that €100,000 will ensure that the space becomes a focal point in the town.
“Along with all the repaired roads in Inishowen and the €3million Cockhill Bridge which An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar opened last month and the €10million invested flood damaged roads in Inishowen its time to start building on investment and spread the success of the Wild Atlantic Way even further.”
– Up to 200 rural towns and villages around the country will benefit from the scheme over the next 15 months.
– The scheme is specifically targeted at rural towns and villages with populations of less than 5,000 and between 5,000 and 10,000. Grants are available from €20,000 to €100,000 with a small number of exceptional schemes to get up to €200,000.
– It is being administered by the Department of Rural and Community Development.
– The Town and Village Renewal Scheme, part of the Government’s Action Plan for Rural Development, complements the 2018 CLÁR programme which sees €5 million being pumped into Donegal and the two rounds of funding for the Local Improvement Schemes which will see millions put into non-public, rural roads and laneways.
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