Fine Gael TD for Kildare South and Chairman of the Fine Gael Parliamentary Party, Martin Heydon, has welcomed confirmation yesterday (Thursday) from Minister Michael Ring of allocations in excess of €2.7m from the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund under Project Ireland 2040 for projects in Athy and Monasterevin.

“€2,707,500 has been allocated towards the regeneration of Athy’s Emily Square. This project will deliver a comprehensive upgrade of Emily Square in the centre of Athy, while the Athy Heritage Centre (former Town Hall) will become the Ernest Shackleton Centre, leveraging tourism potential and benefiting the community. A further €75,000 is allocated for the development of a master plan for the Dominican Lands to act as a catalyst for a significant urban regeneration of Athy town centre to improve the urban environments for both town inhabitants and visitors.

“€78k has been allocated to Monasterevin to develop and bring to shovel ready stage a number of public realm interventions to regenerate the centre of Monasterevin around Market Square and Moore Abbey Gate, Moore St/Main St and Dublin St.

“The Rural Regeneration and Development Fund is a key component of Project Ireland 2040, which is the Government’s plan for balanced regional development across the country. This is Project Ireland 2040 delivering for rural Ireland with capital funding for projects that will make a real difference to people living in Athy and Monasterevin.

“This announcement represents another significant investment by the Government in Athy coming on top of the commitment of €34m for the Southern Distributor Route, the new family resource centre, the purchase of the Dominican site and redevelopment of the library and family hub, extensions to Ard Scoil na Trinode and Athy Community College, progress on the primary care centre, plans for the Barrow Blueway and Water sports hub, the redevelopment of the Heritage Centre as well as the redevelopment of the Model School which is due to have very exciting plans unveiled in the near future.