Blessington has been awarded funding to develop a Master Plan for the town. This will also allow plans for projects identified as part of the drive to become e-greenway ready to be advanced.
Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, announced €2.6m in funding to deliver the Town Centre First Plans which will be key to tackling dereliction and revitalising town centres.
As part of the initiative, Blessington will be provided with €100,000 to support the development of its own unique Master Plan
Wicklow County Council had nominated three towns for the scheme: Blessington, Rathdrum and Newtownmountkennedy. Eligible towns are those with a maximum population of 10,000.
The towns nominated had to be in a position to immediately engage with the Town Centre First process and act as demonstrators for other areas.
Nominated towns were required to have a Town Team or similar group in place and have already completed a background analysis phase such as a town centre health check and to be in a position to proceed to develop a Masterplan.
This initiative is a key part of Our Rural Future – the Government’s ambitious five-year strategy designed to reimagine and revitalise Rural Ireland. It is also linked to the Government’s ‘Housing for All’ strategy and the forthcoming ‘Town Centre First Policy’ which will be announced in the coming weeks.
Wicklow County Council will now work closely with local community groups, retailers and members of the Town Team in devising and delivering on the objectives of the Masterplan building on the very comprehensive Health Check carried out by Future Analytics.
Cathaoirleach of Wicklow County Council, Cllr Shay Cullen, said he was delighted to see community engagement paying off stating: “There is a fantastic community and voluntary effort in our County and people have given their time to engage in a range of activities and projects from clean ups to place-making aimed at enhancing their local areas.”
Welcoming the news, the Chief Executive of Wicklow County Council, Frank Curran, said he looked forward to the rollout of this project in Blessington as a demonstration project and to the rollout of the Town Centre First policy which will help regenerate and revitalise Wicklow’s Towns.
Cllr Avril Cronin, Cathaoirleach of Baltinglass Municipal District, said she was delighted to learn the news that Blessington had been awarded the funding by the Minister.