Cash se­cured for Bless­ing­ton ini­tia­tive and Balt­in­glass Town Re­newal Group

Wicklow People (West Edition) - - FRONT PAGE - By MYLES BUCHANAN

TWO COM­MU­NITY projects in west Wick­low have been suc­cess­ful in ap­pli­ca­tions for fund­ing un­der the 2017 Town and Village Re­newal Scheme, which means that over €144,000 with be brought to the area.

Balt­in­glass Town Re­newal Group will re­ceive €88,000 for so old court­house in Balt­in­glass can be turned into an in­ter­pre­ta­tive cen­tre while Bless­ing­ton has been al­lo­cated €56,000 for a multi-faceted pro­ject linked to the green­way.

TWO west Wick­low projects have been suc­cess­ful in se­cur­ing €144,000 for fund­ing un­der the Town and Village Re­newal Scheme 2017.

The Balt­in­glass Town Re­newal Group will re­ceive €88,000 and €56,000 will go to­ward a multi-faceted pro­ject in Bless­ing­ton.

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.

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”.

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.

Bless­ing­ton and Dis­trict Fo­rum, Bless­ing­ton Tidy Towns, Bless­ing­ton His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety and the West Wick­low Busi­ness Net­work were all in­volved in the suc­cess­ful ap­pli­ca­tion seek­ing fund­ing for a multi-faceted pro­ject which in­cludes the in­stal­la­tion of tourism sig­nage with clear links to Bless­ing­ton Green­way, the Lake­side area, Russ­bor­ough House, the National Park and var­i­ous cy­cle­ways.

The money will also be used for In­ter­pre­ta­tive pan­els de­pict­ing lo­cal his­tory to com­ple­ment the cur­rent town his­tory trail, the pro­vi­sion of pub­lic seat­ing, the devel­op­ment of two walk­ing routes and an en­hance­ment scheme for empty premises.

Cllr Blake also 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.

Cllr Vin­cent Blake.

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