Waterford Fine Gael Senator John Cummins has welcomed the additional allocation of €593,597 under the Local Improvement Scheme which is used to fund repairs and improvement works on non-public roads in rural communities. The funding is part of the Government’s ‘Our Rural Future’ project and was announced by Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD.
Senator Cummins said “The first allocation under the Local Improvement Scheme was made earlier this year and while the €278,802 was welcome, it was not going to allow Waterford Council to progress the priority projects it has on its books, therefore I approached Minister Humphrey’s along with colleagues and asked that this year’s scheme be expanded. I’m delighted that the Minister has taken this feedback on board and doubled the national allocation to €21 million and increased the Waterford allocation by over 200%. I want to compliment the local Fine Gael councillors who have actively assisted me in pushing for additional funding under the scheme”.
Senator Cummins said: “This is great news for local communities in Waterford, as the funding announced under the Local Improvement Scheme will improve access to rural homes and farms, as well as outdoor amenities such as lakes, rivers, mountains and beaches.
“The focus of the scheme is to support the continued improvement of rural roads and laneways in Waterford that are not normally maintained by local authorities, but which represent a vital piece of infrastructure for rural residents.
“Since the scheme was re-introduced in 2017, almost 2,400 roads have been funded for repair works across the country. This has made a real difference to the lives of over 10,000 landowners and residents in rural Ireland,” concluded Senator Cummins.
Announcing the additional €10.5 million in funding, Minister Humphreys said: “I am very much aware of the need to tackle the backlog of eligible applications that exist within many of our local authorities. My Department over the coming months will work closely with local authorities to ensure that this funding is fully delivered this year so that rural residents can benefit. Increasing rural connectivity is a vital component of ‘Our Rural Future’. With this second round of funding under the Local Improvement Scheme this year, we will have invested €80 million in upgrading rural roads and laneways across the country since 2017.”