Galway towns and villages get €134,187 to promote local retail

Galway Daily news Dozens of Galway City community groups awarded €272,708 in grant funding

Galway has been awarded €134,187 for initiatives to promote local shopping in towns and villages and provide additional space for people to eat and socialise outdoors in safety.

The funding has been awarded under the Town and Villages Renewal Scheme this week to help localities deal with the impact of COVID-19.

The largest award is for Ballinasloe, which will receive €40,000 for a variety of initiatives to promote local retail and dining.

These include a Shop Local campaign, additional signage, a Christmas Festival experience, and a Parklet pilot scheme to provide additional seating for traders.

Gort and Athenry have both been awarded just under €25,000 each, which in Gort (€24,750) will be used to rejuvenate the Market Square with new seating and planters, and creating new seating areas.

The funding for Athenry (€24,887) will be used for improvements to the local Community Park including new paths, wheelchair accessible picnic tables, Christmas lights, and branding and promotional materials for the park.

Clonbur has been awarded just €19,800 for the purchase of equipment which will allow Clonbur market to move outdoors, which should help enable social distancing.

Finally, a county wide Shop Local initiative to support towns and villages across Galway has been awarded €24,750.

Galway East TD Ciaran Cannon welcomed the “ambitious” public realm upgrades planned for Athenry and Gort, which he said will make the town centres more attractive for people to visit.

The funding for Galway’s towns was part of a €2.8 million package for 106 towns and villages announced by Minister Heather Humphreys on Monday.

“It is vitally important that we increase footfall in rural towns and villages by supporting them to adapt to this ‘new normal’ as a result of COVID-19,” Minister Humphreys said.

“This funding will benefit communities by altering the streetscapes so that people can shop, work and socialise safely.”

More funding for an estimated 500 towns and villages in total is expected to be announced in the coming weeks the Minister added.