Two projects in the Baltinglass Municipal District have been successful in applications for funding under the Town and Village Renewal Scheme 2017 bringing over €144,000 to West Wicklow.
The Scheme, which is administered by the Department of Rural and Community Development, is in its second year and brings much needed investment to small towns and villages across the country.
A number of submissions were made from different groups spread throughout the Baltinglass Municipal District area with the Blessington and Baltinglass projects being chosen for funding in 2017.
The successful projects are:
The application was made by a community group comprising Blessington & District Forum, Blessington Tidy Towns, Blessington Historical Society and the West Wicklow Business Network. The group sought funding for a multi-faceted project including:
- Installation of tourism signage with clear links to Blessington Greenway, the Lakeside area, Russborough House, the National Park and various cycleways
- Interpretative panels depicting local history to complement the current town history trail
- Provision of public seating
- Development of two walking routes
- Town Health Check and enhancement scheme for empty premises
Funding will be used to improve Blessington for both residents and visitors to the area.
The application was made by the Baltinglass Town Renewal Group which operates under the wing of Baltinglass Forum. The group based their application on the recommendations contained in their locally compiled Baltinglass Town Regeneration Report. It focuses on the use of the old Courthouse building as a local interpretative centre and co-working location. The group also propose to allow access to local community groups such as West Wicklow Choral Society, local drama groups, the historical society and the Baltinglass Forum.
Following the announcement of funding, Cllr Vincent Blake, Cathaoirleach of Baltinglass Municipal District, said: “The recent announcement of €56,000 for Blessington and €88,000 for Baltinglass is warmly welcomed. Such an investment will inject new energy into the lives of these two communities and both projects have the elements to succeed in bringing new visitors to West Wicklow both for business and recreational activities”.
Cllr Blake thanked the respective community groups for taking the time to submit an application for this funding and also gave credit to the staff in the Community, Cultural and Social Development section of Wicklow County Council who provided advice and support to the groups during the application process.