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Portlaw to receive €100,000 under new Town Centre First Plan

Waterford Fine Gael Senator John Cummins has this morning welcomed the announcement that Portlaw is to receive €100,00 in funding to assist the Local Authority in collaboration with stakeholders to develop plans under the Governments first ever Town Centre First policy. €2.6 million has been allocated nationally by Minister for Rural and Community Development Heather Humphries T.D.

Speaking this morning Senator Cummins said ”I am delighted that Portlaw has been chosen as the Waterford project to receive the first funding under the new Town Centre First Policy. This funding will allow Portlaw to develop a bespoke plan to tackle issues like dereliction, vacant properties, and above all to ensure Portlaw becomes an even better place to live, work and run a business”

As part of the initiative, one town in each local authority will be provided with €100,000 to support the development of its own unique master plan. “Waterford Council will now work closely with the Portlaw community enhancement committee, local community groups and retailers in devising and delivering on the objectives contained in their masterplan”, said Senator Cummins.

This initiative is a key part of Our Rural Future – the Government’s ambitious five-year strategy designed to reimagine and revitalise Rural Ireland. It is also linked to the Government’s ‘Housing for All’ strategy and the forthcoming ‘Town Centre First Policy’, which will be announced in the New Year. It is envisaged that the town centre first plans will cover the importance of “place-making”, town centre living, the social and economic purpose of the town, and respond to emerging opportunities such as those linked to remote working, climate action and digitalisation.

Senator Cummins said, “I am looking forward to working with the community in Portlaw in time ahead to realise their vision for the locality.

Speaking at the announcement this morning Minister for Rural and Community development Heather Humphreys said, “I am delighted that ‘Our Rural Future’ continues to deliver tangible benefits across Rural Ireland. We are rolling out a range of investments for our towns and villages, particularly through the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund and the Town & Village Renewal Scheme.

“Our rural towns and villages play a central role in the lives of people in rural areas. They are where we live, work, shop and socialise. It is important that we ensure our towns and villages remain vibrant, vital and relevant places. The Plans will be developed in tandem with Town Teams that are representative of the local towns and who can bring a wealth of knowledge and local expertise.”

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