Towns and villages in Longford and Westmeath are set to benefit from a huge €33,000 in Government funding to mark 60th anniversary of Tidy Towns, a Fine Gael TD has said.


The funding was announced this week by the Minister for Rural & Community Development, Michael Ring TD.


This scheme will allow for every local Tidy Towns committee in the county to apply for a grant of between €1000 and €4000 to support the work they do.


Peter Burke said: “I am delighted to see even more funding going to towns and villages in Longford and Westmeath. I have no doubt that the money will be a huge boost to our local communities and will be put to great use”.


Burke confirmed that all applicants who have applied to enter the competition in any of the past 3 years will be eligible. This covers a total of 60 groups in total in Longford and Westmeath. Pobal will administer the scheme on behalf of the Department and will contact all eligible groups directly over the coming weeks to facilitate the drawdown of the funding. Under the scheme villages are eligible to receive €1,000; small towns are eligible to receive €2,000, large towns are eligible to receive €3,000; and large urban centres are eligible to receive €4,000.


“This funding is an acknowledgment from our Government of the amazing work that has been done by Tidy Town’s organisations up and down the county for the last 60 years. These organisations have played in integral role in our local communities for decades now.


“Tidy Towns competition inspires a huge amount of voluntary effort in towns and villages across the country. I would like to extend my sincere thanks to all those who give up their free time to make our communities better places to live.


“This funding for  Tidy Towns organisations will not just celebrate the last 60 years, but also help us look towards the future.


“This investment is a further sign of the Government’s commitment to supporting our towns and villages. In October Minister Ring announced €21.6 million in funding under the Town and Village Renewal Scheme which will help revitalise over 280 towns and villages across rural Ireland. Longford and Westmeath received over €1 million.


“The Tidy Towns grants scheme is a once off investment by the Department of Rural and Community Development to mark the 60th anniversary of the Tidy Towns competition in 2018 and is additional to the support provided by the Department on an ongoing basis.


“I think this is a fantastic initiative provided by Minister Ring which will help communities across the country. Tidy Towns organisations are at the heart of the communities, are experts in their areas and are the best placed people to know how and where to spend the money to get maximum results for the villages and towns in Longford Westmeath. I welcome this common sense approach to funding rural Ireland and our communities”.