THE deadline for completing street enhancement works in five Laois towns has been extended until the last day of this year.
Upgrades costing €260,000 in Mountrath, Mountmellick, Rathdowney, Ballinakill and Ballylinan, which had an original deadline of 1 November, do not have to be finished until 31 December following an extension announced today by Minister Heather Humphreys.
The news was welcomed by Laois County Council cathaoirleach cllr Conor Bergin, who said the original deadline was “a very tight timeframe”.
The Laois towns are sharing €260,000 for the upgrade and enhancement of shopfronts and street facades, under the €7m national Streetscape Enhancement Initiative announced in August. Grants of up to €8,000 per building are available in specific areas under the ‘Our Rural Future’ strategy.
Cllr Bergin said: “Applications closed for the scheme on 7 September and I know there has been a huge level of interest locally in these towns and villages. However, the deadline for completion of works by 1 November was a very tight timeframe and I greatly welcome the announcement by Minister Humphreys that this has been extended until 31 December.
“Local authorities such as Laois County Council have been provided with further flexibility to manage the scheme locally. The aim is to improve the visual appearance of our urban streetscapes which increases pride and confidence in our towns and villages, making them more attractive places to live, work and do business.”
Cllr Bergin said the county council looked forward to working with communities and the owners of business and residential premises in the designated towns and villages.
Under the scheme, property owners in over 120 towns and villages nationwide are receiving funding to improve the facades of their buildings, carry out artwork and install features such as canopies and street furniture.
The initiative is being delivered by local authorities, with considerable discretion to design the schemes to meet individual needs.