Funding of up to €200,000 is available for rural towns and villages across north and west Donegal through the 2019 Town and Village Renewal Scheme, a Fine Gael council candidates have announced.

The Town and Village Renewal Scheme has become an integral part of the Government’s drive to support rural Ireland. It provides funding of up to €200,000 for projects that make our towns more attractive places in which to live and work.

The scheme is specifically targeted at rural towns and villages with populations of less than 10,000.

Milford Electoral Area candidate Eimer Friel said: “Fine Gael is delivering ‘Project Ireland 2040’ which will ensure sustainable growth over the next twenty years for all parts of Ireland.

“To ensure the vitality of our rural areas, a significant proportion of national population and economic growth will be targeted at building up the fabric of smaller towns, villages and rural areas, with much of that happening by redeveloping derelict and under-utilised lands inside small towns and villages.

“Since the Town and Village Renewal Scheme was introduced in 2016, almost €53 million has been approved for over 670 projects across the country. These projects cover a range of activities, from improving the public realm, to job-creation initiatives such as the development of enterprise hubs and digital hubs. Already Rathmullan, Portsalon, Kilmacrennan and Kerrykeel have availed of these funds and I would encourage groups in Milford and Ramelton to apply this time around.”

Fellow Fine Gael candidate EvelynSweeney said: “This is a brilliant scheme and already Glenties, Falcarragh, Burtonport and Arranmore have received funding in the past 18 months – with the Arranmore digital hub opening today. I visited the hub last week and it has a huge potential for the island, allowing islanders to work from the island in the future.

"I strongly encourage other towns and villages in the west and north of the county to work with Donegal County Council in preparing innovative and well thought-out projects under the scheme and I look forward to the announcement of the successful recipients of funding in the coming months.

“In order to avail of funding through the scheme, Donegal Co Co will be required to advertise for expressions of interest from towns and villages and will select proposals for development into detailed applications to be submitted to the Department by the end of June.”

Pic: Evelyn Sweeney on a visit to the Arranmore digital hub with Minister Joe McHugh last week.

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