Almost €700,000 in funding has been announced for six Kerry towns and villages.
Kerry Fine Gael TD and Deputy Government Chief Whip, Brendan Griffin said the funding is being made available under the “Town and Village Renewal Scheme” by the Department of Social Protection and Rural Affairs, and will go towards projects in Spa, Milltown, Castleisland, Ballybunion, Rathmore and Portmagee.
In Spa Village, over €96,000 will go towards a new footpath to link the village safely to the Tralee Bay Coastal Amenity Trail.
In Milltown, over €94,000 will be spent to upgrade the historic square and for a scoping study on the development of a Business Innovation Hub.
In Castleisland, over €96,000 will go towards implementing Phase 1 of an Urban Connectivity project and a study on the future use for derelict and vacant properties in the town.
In Ballybunion, €100,000 has been approved for improved signage and parking capacity for visitors.
In Rathmore, €100,000 will be spent on undergrounding ESB wires in advance of a safety scheme due to commence early this year.
And in Portmagee, €200,000 will go towards public realm improvements and undergrounding of utility wires, including the provision of EV charging, WiFi Access points and information points.
Education Minister and Kerry Fianna Fáil TD, Norma Foley and Independent Kerry TD Michael Healy-Rae have welcomed the announcement.
Meanwhile, Kerry Fine Gael Cllr Jim Finucane says the funding for a new footpath linking the Spa to the Tralee Bay Coastal Amenity Trail is another step in linking greenway routes around the county and is hugely important for tourism infrastructure in Kerry.
Cathaoirleach of Listowel Municipal District, Cllr Michael Foley says the €100,000 funding for improved signage and parking capacity in Ballybunion is good news for the area in these difficult times and when things improve will help the area generate economic activity by improved parking and signage for welcomed visitors.
Fianna Fáil Cllr Michael Cahill said the funding package will benefit towns and villages and will fund a range of projects including the regeneration of derelict buildings and enhancement works at tourism attractions and other important local amenities.
He said the funding for Portmagee will help to enhance the village for locals and visitors alike.
Independent Cllr Jackie Healy-Rae says the funding for Castleisland involves the upgrade of the Mart Road, a drop off area for buses, the installation of a pedestrian crossing at the top of Main Street at College Road to facilitate access to schools.
Cllr Healy-Rae says the inclusion of a study to develop proposals for the vacant and derelict properties in the town is something he has raised previously at MD and Kerry County Council level.
He says it is vital we make more of an effort to revitalise the town by utilising the vacant properties that are available, getting people back living in the main street and turning back on the lights in the properties.