A new rural renewal scheme for towns and villages in Galway East reflects the Independent Alliance influence in shaping the direction of Government policy, Deputy Sean Canney has said.
‘The revitalisation of rural Ireland is something that I pushed for very strongly in the programme of Government,’ said Deputy Canney. ‘Today’s announcement shows how Independents can have a positive impact on how central funds can be delivered in areas that were previously being neglected.’
‘The new scheme will have a particular focus on towns with populations of less than 5,000 and an allocation of €380,000 is to be made available to each county,” explained Deputy Canney.
‘A maximum of eight separate projects in each county can receive a grant from the Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs from September and I look forward to seeing the projects put forward by Galway County Council.
‘The criteria for funding under the Town and Village Renewal Scheme states that projects must have a “sustainable and visible impact” and I know that local community groups will also have a say in how the various schemes are developed.
‘For too long the focus of economic recovery has been centred on the country’s major towns and cities to the detriment of rural Ireland. The Independent Alliance insisted that this emphasis would change and that there would be a re-focusing of central funding towards rural Ireland.
‘During negotiations for the formation of the Government, I placed a strong emphasis in the Programme for Government that towns and villages would be given a chance to breathe again with the help of a renewal fund. I sincerely hope that this scheme will kick-start a badly needed revival in our towns and villages across Galway East.’