Funding Announced for Shopfronts
A new scheme aimed at giving the towns and villages of rural Ireland a facelift through refreshing the front of premises has this week been announced by Minister Heather Humphreys’ Department of Rural & Community Development. Streetscape Enhancement Initiative will provide funding to property owners to improve the facades of their buildings, and is part of the government’s ‘Our Rural Future’ initiative.
In Co. Monaghan, three towns have been selected to benefit from the scheme: Monaghan town,
Ballybay and Carrickmacross. An allocation of €220,000 has been made to the county, and Monaghan County Council has been tasked with preparing schemes for each town which will make best use of the available funding.
Monaghan County Council is now inviting premises owners to make contact if they are interested in participating in the Scheme. At this initial stage, detailed documentation is not required, just an idea of what you want to do, and how much it is going to cost.
The types of projects that could be supported include:
- strategic collaboration between property owners to paint buildings or shopfronts in vibrant colours
- commissioning of murals in towns and villages
- upgrade or restoration of historic / traditional shopfronts
- provision of street planting, shrubbery, trees and flowers boxes
- illumination and lighting of architectural features
- installation of canopies and street furniture
- decluttering of streetscapes with removal of unnecessary signs / wires
The grant rates under the scheme are generous, with 70% funding available for individual premises, rising to 80% if the premises is included in a group of 3 or more being upgraded together. Where the applicant is seeking just the cost of the paint, 100% of the cost is awarded.
The Scheme is also open to community groups, chambers of commerce etc. who may wish to undertake work on derelict properties, or commission a mural. Property occupants, eg those renting a retail unit, may also apply, providing they have the property owner’s permission.
All types of property are eligible for consideration, including commercial, residential and unoccupied buildings. A maximum grant of €8,000 per building applies.
If you are interested in participating in this Scheme, you can find more information on Monaghan County Council’s website, www.monaghan.ie, where you will also find an online form for submitting your expression of interest.
Expressions of interest must be submitted on or before 7th September, with the works to be completed by the end of October.