Following the recent monthly meeting of Galway County , Councillor Timmy Broderick has secured funding of €200,000 to facilitate street scaping renovation in town.
Councillor Broderick along with fellow Councillor Dr Evelyn Francis Parsons and TD Denis Naughten have been campaigning for increased funding from Galway County Council in association with the Street Scaping Scheme.
The scheme was announced at the end of last summer as the Big Dig wound down and saw nearly 80 business owners apply for grant assistance to renovate, paint and repair the front facades of premises.
News broke around estimates, that a meagre €80,000 had been allocated. Cllr Broderick labelled it: “An insult to those who have to undertake major works to improve the streetscape in the town… what we are looking at is a paltry amount considering the turmoil that all businesses in Ballinasloe in recent times from the pandemic to the Town Enhancement Scheme, and associated road closures.”
“Unreachable expenditures were built up a huge number have subscribed to it and the sum will be quite small. €1,000 each was not very much for them. There is no news on whether an architect will be appointed. I am very disappointed to what has come to pass on what looked to be a great scheme," explained Cllr Parsons.
Galway County Council Acting Director of Services - Alan Farrell explained: “A decision has been taken to further finance Ballinasloe Streetscapes in terms of shop fronts. We will get the highest impact in terms of expenditure, in the region of €200,000 is expected to give the town an uplift.”
Cllr Parsons said: “The investment of €400,000 in the street scape will transform the town and be beneficial to both businesses and the people.”
The scheme will now be archeitect-led which means that colour pallet, styling and upgrading pf pelmets and signage will follow a uniform theme – anchored around a Victorian Provincial Market Town, to be able to draw down the support with will match fund 50% what the business owner is contributing.
Senator Aisling Dolan who in late summer of last year pro actively canvassed businesses to apply for the scheme referred to the project as as generational “ We have the ability to resemble the bright engaging facades of a Clonakilty, Skibbereen or a Westport with this once in a lifetime project and I am so looking forward they way the town will look for out community and visitors alike in the late summer when all the sprucing up is done “, noted Aisling.
She also referenced the work the local Street Representatives and BACD did in advocating for the scheme from the Council to assist town centre businesses.
TD Naughten added: “This funding will allow businesses to make a real difference to the appearance of the town and its potential to attract not just shoppers but also new businesses. Galway County Council investing €200,000 in Ballinasloe will help to encourage families and potential investor to choose our town rather than continuing struggling on a regular basis in Dublin and will, in the long run, increase the rate base and income for the Council to invest in other local projects.”
Denis Naughten T.D. has also been pushing for the vacant houses on busy streets to be purchased with a €15,000 grant being provided as a boost to new owners that would assist them with their mortgage.
“The reality is that there are quite a number of towns like Ballinasloe, where bringing families into vacant homes and buildings will bring new life into the community as well as supporting existing schools, clubs, and local services, “ stated Denis.
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