24 September 2020
By Mary Bermingham
Social Democrats TD for Cork South-West, Holly Cairns, has called on the Department of Community and Rural Development and the Islands to extend funding for rural areas and provide specific investment for villages.
Speaking in the Dáil last week, Holly said:
“The Town and Village Renewal Scheme, which has been tailored to address the challenges associated with Covid-19, has provided great support for 226 projects. This scheme is the type of practical and tangible support that communities need and appreciate.
“At a time when rural areas have been significantly impacted by the pandemic, this scheme is not only helping them adjust but is offering a lifeline for main street shops and family businesses. One example of this has been the purchase of stage and amplification equipment for community events and concerts in West Cork.
“The scheme required communities to almost compete against each other due to the limited funding available to each local authority. Many areas which put together excellent proposals did not get funding. This is incredibly disheartening, especially given this year’s difficulties. A targeted investment for villages with populations of under 1,000 would make a significant difference for those communities.
“While the Minister has committed to further funding in this area, there is scope for more villages to benefit as they have tended not to receive as much as towns. I will keep pushing for more grants and in the meantime would encourage all towns and villages to apply for the remaining funds.”