The Heritage Council, along with Minister Daragh O’Brien and Minister of State Malcolm Noonan, today (04.03.21) announced that ten historic towns will share €1.5m funding under the Historic Towns Initiative 2021.
The €1.5m in capital funding will help to provide jobs and economic stimulus through heritage-led regeneration and will aid the rebuilding of local economies with heritage as a focal point.
The Historic Towns Initiative is a joint initiative between the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage and the Heritage Council and this year’s scheme follows on from highly successful programmes in 2018, 2019 and 2020.
This announcement follows a competitive process inviting local authorities to propose projects for heritage-led regeneration in one historic town in their area.
In 2021 funding will be awarded to the relevant local authorities for projects in:
• Listowel, Co Kerry
• Ballyshannon, Co. Donegal
• Ballina, Co. Mayo
• Roscommon Town, Co Roscommon
• Sligo, Co Sligo
• Tramore, Co Waterford
• Birr, Co Offaly
• Enniscorthy, Co Wexford
• Navan, Co Meath
• Callan, Co Kilkenny
Speaking today, Minister O’Brien said:
“Firstly, as many people know, I am committed to the heritage-led regeneration of our towns and villages, so I am truly delighted to congratulate the ten successful towns that will benefit from the Historic Towns Initiative 2021.
“We remain in unprecedented times and our communities have been confronted with challenges and hardships that are both unique and extraordinary. In keeping with the government commitment to a Town Centre First policy my hope is that these heritage-led regeneration projects will bring economic benefits to our historic towns thereby helping them to prosper once again.”
Adding to Minister O’Brien’s comments, Minister of State Noonan said:
“We wish to put built, cultural and natural heritage at the front of both Government policy and the recovery of the country and so I look forward to working with the Heritage Council on similar initiatives over the coming months and years. Heritage Ireland 2030, the new national heritage plan which will be published later this spring, will further ensure that our heritage is at the heart of policy across Government.”
Virginia Teehan, the Chief Executive of the Heritage Council commented:
“The Heritage Council is very pleased to, once again, administer the Historic Towns Initiative in 2021. Working with local authority partners and communities on heritage-led regeneration is an important Heritage Council priority and we very much look forward to working with Minister O’Brien, Minister of State Noonan and the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage in this, and all aspects, of the care of our rich heritage.”
Mr Michael Parsons, Heritage Council chairman, added:
“It is wonderful to be in a position to support such a range of projects across the country. These projects, taken together, give a flavour of the variety of heritage initiatives that can be undertaken to care for Ireland’s historic towns. The Heritage Council is delighted that the Minister has continued to support this joint initiative. I hope that the success of this year’s round of projects will inspire others to care for the heritage of their towns in future years”.
Mr. Darragh O’Brien, T.D., Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage today (03 March 2021) announced that Orders have been made directing that bye-elections be held to fill the vacancies in the Seanad caused by the resignations of Senator Michael D’Arcy and Senator Elisha McCallion.
Senator D’Arcy was elected from the Oireachtas Sub-Panel of the Agricultural Panel and Senator McCallion was elected from the Oireachtas Sub-Panel of the Industrial and Commercial Panel at the Seanad General Election in March 2020.
The last day for receiving nominations at the bye-elections will be 23 March, 2021 at 12 noon. The Seanad Returning Officer will sit for the ruling on nominations on 30 March, 2021. Ballot papers will be issued on 7 April, 2021 and the polls will close at 11 a.m. on 21 April, 2021.
The electorate for the bye-elections will be the members of Dáil Éireann and Seanad Éireann.
Minister O’Brien & Minister Burke announce €75m fund to improve homes of older people & people with a disability
Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien TD and Minister of State for Local Government and Planning, Peter Burke TD, have today (1 March 2021) announced a €75m fund for Housing Adaptation Grants for Older People and People with a Disability.
The fund, which supports home adaptations for older people, those with a disability and people with mobility issues, is 80% exchequer funding through the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, with 20% funding from the relevant local authority.
Grants of up to €30,000 are available to assist people with a disability in carrying out necessary works to make a house more suitable for their needs, up to €8,000 to assist older people to have necessary repairs or improvements carried out and up to €6,000 for mobility aids.
Commenting Minister O’Brien said, “I am delighted to be in a position to allocate increased funding to each local authority so that they can continue to support older people and those with a disability to live independently.
“Importantly, home adaptations help reduce the dependency on our health services by supporting independent living for as long as possible and in other instances facilitate an early return from hospital, taking pressure off already over-burdened services.
“These grants will also provide a boost to local economies, creating employment opportunities for local contractors. While the current shutdown in construction activity remains in place, it is very important that people are aware that housing adaptation works can continue with the consent of the homeowner and once public health guidelines are adhered to,” he concluded.
Minister Burke added, “I am pleased that funding for our Local Authorities to administer this scheme has been increasing year on year since 2014. This shows the importance that is attached to the scheme and the Government’s commitment to older people and those with a disability.
“These grants have an huge impact on the quality of life of the many beneficiaries and play a vitally important role in helping people with a disability and people who are reaching an age in life when they are less mobile, to continue to live independently in their own homes.
“As Minister of State with responsibility for housing for older people and people with a disability, I am fully committed to assisting individuals to stay in their own homes and within their own communities for as long as possible and these allocations today will facilitate this goal for many” he concluded.
EXCHEQUER FUNDING (80%)
LA FUNDING (20%)
Limerick City & County
Waterford City & County
Due to COVID-19, the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage has today (24th February 2021) agreed with the Commissioner of Valuation that the Commissioner will defer the revaluation of rateable properties in the following local authority areas until 2022:
Clare County Council, Donegal County Council, Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council, Galway City Council, Galway County Council, Kerry County Council and Mayo County Council.
New valuations arising from the revaluation of these local authorities will now be finalised in September 2022 and become effective for rates purposes from 2023 onwards.
The revaluations of these local authorities are part of an ongoing national programme to ensure that the rateable valuations of all commercial and industrial properties in Ireland are updated on a regular cycle so as to maintain relativity between individual ratepayers in the same local authority area. The purpose of revaluation is to bring increased transparency and equity to the local authority rating system.
Neither residential property nor agricultural lands are rateable and consequently are not affected by revaluation.