12 East Cork Villages Could Benefit From €76,500 Town and Village Renewal Scheme

By Seamus Whelehan

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The Town and Village Renewal Scheme, which supports the rejuvenation of rural towns and villages, has been expanded to include an additional eight rural communities in East Cork.
Traditionally Killeagh, Cloyne, Whitegate/Aghada and Castlemartyr were able to access the Department of Community and Rural Development grant, being key villages in the district.
At the February Sitting of the East Cork Municipal District, Cllrs voted to extend the scheme to eight additional locations.
From this year Ballycotton, Ballymacoda, Churchtown South, Dungourney, Ladysbridge, Mogeely, Saleen and a combination of Shanagarry and Garryvoe will qualify for the Government grant.
The Town and Village Renewal Scheme is designed specifically to fund projects that deliver viable, long-term benefits and enhance town and village centres.
Under the programme, up to 80% of the total project costs are provided by the Department of Community and Rural Development.
Grant levels range between €20,000 and €100,000 but a higher maximum of €200,000 may be considered where an exceptionally strong benefit to an area can be demonstrated.
Since the programmes introduction in 2017 three of the four key villages have already benefited from funding, with Castlemartyr being the only key village not to benefit.
However, Castlemartyr has already received significant funding over a number of years.
In 2017 – the grant was assigned to Cloyne for new car park signage and bins.
In 2018 – it was assigned to Whitegate for the upgrade of the village centre, but is deferred pending Irish Water works.
2019 – as a contribution towards the development of a car park in Killeagh
Welcoming the announcement at the February Sitting of the East Cork Municipal District, Sinn Fein Cllr Danielle Twomey and Fine Gael Cllr Michael Hegarty expressed concern that Ballinacurra was not included in the list of villages.
Municipal Senior Executive Officer, Joe McCarthy, told the Cllrs that Ballinacurra was not included as it is not listed as a village in the County Development Plan.
He said “In the context of the Development Plan, Ballinacurra is not overlooked. It’s seen as a logical part of the expanding Midleton”
The inclusion of the village is to be discussed at a closed door meeting, where Cllrs will decide the four villages to qualify for the €76,500 grant for the life of this Council.

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