16 February 2023
By Tom Collins
Improvement works for rural roads and laneways in County Cork will receive crucial funding to improve accessibility and boost connectivity, a Fine Gael Senator has said.
Senator Tim Lombard welcomed the overarching funding of €12.4 million announced this week by Fine Gael colleague, Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys. The boost comes under the Local Improvement Scheme (LIS), which aims to help communities improve non-public roads and lanes that are not typically maintained by local authorities.
Senator Lombard said: “This landmark fund is the first of its kind, the first time we’ve seen time dedicated funding for island communities. Our homes, farms, and local amenities here in Cork will reap the benefits of this investment.
“We will see funding of €925,151for our rural roads and laneways and a further €140,000 to support rural roads on Bere, Cléire, Dursey, Heir, Long, Sherkin and Whiddy islands.
“Fine Gael is committed to ensuring stronger, safer communities and making our rural towns and villages places that people can work, live and raise a family,” SenatorLombard concluded.
The overall announcement by Minister Humphreys means some €112 million has now been allocated to local authorities under the Local Improvement Scheme since it was re-introduced in 2017.
Minister Humphreys added: “Local connectivity is absolutely vital for our rural communities and this investment will benefit the lives of families in every single county.
“We all know parts of rural Ireland that can be difficult to access because the road or laneway is in need of repair and this funding will go towards making essential improvements.”
Facts & Figures
The allocation to each county under the LIS for 2023 is set out below:
|County||2023 Main LIS Allocation||Islands Allocation||Total|
2023 LIS Islands Allocations
|Inis Bó Finne|
Local Improvement Scheme (LIS)
The Local Improvement Scheme (LIS) was reintroduced in September 2017 and over €100 million has already been provided for works on over 3,700 roads. The additional funding announced this week will bring that total to over €112 million.
Local authorities are responsible for identifying and prioritising roads for improvement works under the scheme, in consultation with residents/landowners. The funding provided by the Department of Rural and Community Development will be complemented by a local financial contribution from landowners/householders, as well as local authority resources.
Eligible roads under the Local Improvement Scheme are:
- non-public roads that provide access to parcels of agricultural land, or provide access for harvesting purposes (including turf or seaweed) for two or more persons.; or
- non-public roads leading to important community amenities such as graveyards, beaches, piers, mountains, etc.
Non Eligible Roads
Non-eligible roads include:
- roads serving only houses or buildings occupied or used by persons not engaged in agriculture, and
- roads leading to commercial enterprises
The financial contribution provided by the household/landowner is set at:
- 10% of the estimated cost for eligible roads with up to and including five households/landowners, and
- 15% for those roads with six or more households/landowners.
The maximum amount that any household/landowner is required to contribute is capped at €1,200.