New funding has been announced for Athy businesses to upgrade their building facades, artwork, murals, lighting, street furniture and canopies a Fine Gael Kildare South TD and Minister of State Martin Heydon has said.

Minister Heydon was speaking after Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, announced funding of €2.6 million for 26 towns selected for funding with each local authority to receive €100,000 as part of the initiative.

The Streetscape Enhancement Initiative will provide retail and property owners in Athy with grants they can use to give their business a facelift. The primary aim is to make towns and villages in Kildare more attractive places to live, work or visit.  The scheme includes the upgrade or restoration of historic and traditional shopfronts which could be applied in Athy given the history and heritage of the town.

Speaking today, Minister Heydon said: “Ensuring our towns are vibrant places to live and work is needed as we recover economically post-pandemic. Streetscapes offers businesses a new lease of life and the opportunity to get creative.

“Kildare County Council will manage the initiative and are to begin advertising for applications in the coming weeks. I hope that as many businesses and property owners as possible get involved over the next few weeks to avail of this funding.

“You may wish to give the front of your shop a new lease of life and repaint it in bright, vibrant colours.

Perhaps you want to cover your windowsills with flowers and plants or purchase street furniture, canopies for your customers to enjoy. Or maybe you have an even bolder idea. I’m encouraging neighbouring businesses to submit a joint application to Kildare County Council they have a more ambitious proposal” concluded Minister Heydon.