Tuesday, 5 October 2021
Department of Rural and Community Development
790. To ask the Minister for Rural and Community Development if she will extend the timeline for the streetscape scheme due to difficulties with construction issues and the availability of specialised tradesmen and to complete the work. [47767/21]
The €7 million Streetscape Enhancement Initiative, which is a commitment in Our Rural Future, is designed to make 124 of our rural towns and villages more attractive and welcoming places for locals and visitors alike. Property owners will be part funded to improve the facades of buildings, carry out artwork and install features such as canopies and street furniture.
The initiative is being delivered by the Local Authorities on behalf of my Department. The maximum level of funding that can be provided to individual properties is set at a national level, with considerable discretion provided to Local Authorities to design the scheme locally to meet their individual needs.
As the funding is being made available from savings elsewhere in my Department's vote, it must be fully utilised before year end. The projects must be completed and funding drawndown from my Department by mid-November. My Department is working very closely with local authorities to ensure that as much flexibility as possible is being provided in the delivery of the scheme and to facilitate quick delivery on the ground.
Notwithstanding this, I am aware of concerns regarding the tight timeframes set to complete the works and the impact which weather conditions may have on delivery at this time of year. I have asked my officials to explore what further flexibility can be provided to address these concerns so as to ensure effective delivery of this worthwhile scheme.