Minister for Rural and Community Development Heather Humphreys has announced a new €7 million fund for the improvement of streetscapes and shopfronts in over 50 rural towns and villages.

The Streetscape Enhancement Initiative will provide funding to property owners to improve the facades/exterior of their buildings.

The types of projects that could be supported include: strategic collaboration between property owners to paint buildings or shopfronts in vibrant colours; commissioning of murals; upgrade or restoration of historic/traditional shopfronts; and provision of street planting, shrubbery, trees and flower boxes.

Minister Humphreys said that the initiative is about local authorities “thinking strategically and working in collaboration with local businesses and property owners to add colour and vibrancy” to rural towns and villages.

“We have all seen the huge success of towns like Kinsale, Adare and others who have put a major focus on improving their streetscapes by painting buildings in vibrant colours, upgrading and restoring their traditional shopfronts and removing unnecessary clutter from their main streets,” the minister added.

The Streetscape Enhancement Measure will be administered by local authorities who will be requested to nominate at least two towns per county. Participating towns and villages will be confirmed in the coming weeks.

The bandings for the allocation of funding are based on the number of towns and villages in each county.