Cllr Michael Hegarty, Cllr Susan McCarthy, Cllr Danielle Twomey and Joe McCarthy.

The future is looking bright for East Cork towns as the Local Authority looks to add a splash of colour to its main thoroughfares.

This year the Municipality is to give our commercial centres a facelift in a bid to attract more people to the area.

Earlier this week Joe McCarthy, East Cork Municipal District Officer put out a rallying cry to property owners across the Borough to spruce up their area, following criticism of a number of premises that have become run down eyesores.

“We in the East Cork Municipal District prefer to encourage and persuade rather than to prosecute and penalise. Through the Painting Scheme the Council will assist the tenants or owners of buildings in the town centre by offering them grants towards the cost of painting their premises.”

“The carrot and the stick analogy may be applied here. We wish to support tenants or owners to properly maintain their premises but we are obliged to take action, on behalf of those who act responsibly, and on behalf of all who live in and visit our town centres, under the Derelict Sites Act, 1990, where properties are not properly maintained and become unsightly”.

Mr McCarthy said it was his hope that people will avail of the reduced cost Paint Scheme rather than the Council having to take action under the Derelict Sites Act.

In an effort to stop the rot across the Municipal district the programme, launched by Cathaoirleach Susan McCarthy, will see tenants or owners of buildings avail of a grant of up to 50% of the cost of painting the facades along our main streets.

Cllrs Danielle Twomey and Michael Hegarty were present at the launch in Midleton on Tuesday 26 June, where they were joined by Municipal Officers Helen Mulcahy (Youghal) and Joe McCarthy (Midleton).

In 2017 over 19 premises took advantage of the half price paint in Youghal, with very few and little take up in Midleton.

East Cork Municipal District Cathaoirleach, Cllr Susan McCarthy said with the launch taking place in Midleton, she expected that a number of premises in the market town would avail of the 2018 programme, stating it represented good value for money.

In order to make a formal application, intended participants in the scheme must first photograph their building’s present condition, including its current signage arrangement.

Obtain two quotations from a registered painting contractor for the proposed works.

Submit a proposed colour scheme taking cognisance of the heritage palette of colours.

Shops who display signage that is considered inappropriate, such as neon signs, will not be considered. However, shop owners can avail of a signage scheme if they wish to upgrade their signage to more appropriate “heritage type” signage.

Closing date for receipt of applications (addressed to East Cork Municipal District Offices, Cork County Council, Town Hall, Youghal, Co. Cork) is Friday 13 July at 4:30pm. Prior agreement with the council is required before works are carried out.