14th May 2021 €689,930 allocated for upgrade works on rural roads and laneways in Kerry – Griffin €689,930 has been allocated for repairs and improvement works on non-public roads in rural communities in Kerry, as part of the Government’s ‘Our Rural Future’ project, Deputy Government Chief Whip, Brendan Griffin TD has said. Deputy Griffin has welcomed the announcement from the Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, of a total allocation of €10.5 million for projects across the country. This represents a 5% increase compared to 2020, with every county receiving an increase. Over €68 million has now been invested under the Local Improvement Scheme since it was re-introduced in 2017. Deputy Griffin said: “This is great news for local communities in Kerry, 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 Kerry 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 Deputy Griffin. Announcing the €10.5 million in funding, Minister Humphreys said: “As part of ‘Our Rural Future’, the Government has committed to increasing the level of investment in the repair of non-public roads through the Local Improvement Scheme. “I know there is a significant demand for funding under the Local Improvement Scheme right across the country. That is why I am today announcing increased funding for every county under the scheme; however, I am acutely aware that more is needed. I am working to identify if additional funding can be provided for LIS in 2021 and I would therefore urge each Local Authority to utilise the funding announced today, and complete the repair works on the selected roads, as soon as possible,” concluded Minister Humphreys. ENDS

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Massive Funding Boost for Kerry Over €32 MILLION for Tralee & Killarney. Statement by Brendan Griffin TD (FG) Kerry Deputy Government Chief Whip Friday, March 19th, 2021 Kerry Fine Gael TD and Deputy Government Chief Whip, Brendan Griffin, is this morning (Friday) welcoming a massive funding injection of over €32 million for Tralee and Killarney. Allocated under the “Urban Regeneration and Development Fund” (URDF) for large urban areas by the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, close to €16 million each will be available to Tralee and Killarney to progress a number of projects in both town centres. In Tralee – €15.93 million will go towards “Positioning Tralee as a Regional Economic Driver & Destination Town”. The funding will continue the work on Rock Street, Russell Street and Bridge Street and will result in the primary streets of the central area being finished to a high standard. The public realm will link the major retail areas of the Mall, Castle Street and Lower Rock Street to the Island of Geese, and strengthen the links to the Town Park through St John’s Church Plaza. The funding will also develop Tralee’s Market Quarter to create an attractive link to the recently upgraded Ashe Hotel and the multi-storey carpark to the Mall. Significant opportunities exist for unlocking the potential for both residential and commercial development in vacant and derelict areas. It will also see the redevelopment of the Austin Stack Park Plaza, including the road layout to create a ‘landmark’ entry point to the town centre, celebrating the town’s rich sporting history. The funding will also be available for strategic site assembly of key areas to address dereliction in the town core and to develop multi-purpose community space on the Island of Geese site. The funding may also be used to carry out a feasibility study to explore the development of an Innovation District and to develop a Master Plan for the John Joe Sheehy Road area as well as facilitating the detailed design and planning of an all-weather performance/civic space. In Killarney, €16.06 million will go towards “Destination Killarney”. This project seeks to mirror the world-class natural environment that is Killarney National Park with an exceptional urban experience that sets Killarney apart as a tourism destination through a series of interrelated transport and public realm improvements and a traffic management strategy that removes passing traffic from the urban core. The funding will go towards: • Regeneration of the Áras Phádraig site to provide a community centred, cultural hub including a theatre, with additional parking to support the compact growth of the town and the integration of its community. It will also create a public amenity space for the promotion of community and will enhance the Arts/Cultural Heritage Experience. • Enhancing and Extending the “Authentic” Killarney Offer – development and promotion of Killarney’s local craft through the designation of the Glebe Craft quarter in the town centre; enhancement of the arts/cultural heritage experience through development of the Áras Phádraig site, with improved links to the recently redeveloped Anam Building and Killarney House. • Public Realm improvements at Beech Road, College Street and New Street/High Street, to leverage the visitor potential of the natural and built heritage and the uniqueness of the ‘town in the park’ proposition. Deputy Griffin says the funding is a hugely welcome addition to public money already invested in Tralee and Killarney in recent years but that the scale of this Government investment is of major significance. Deputy Griffin raised the URDF applications by Tralee and Killarney in the Dáil last week with the Taoiseach and Tánaiste and emphasised the necessity for both towns to receive funding due to the scale of the economic impact of Covid on Kerry. At the time, the Tánaiste indicated that only one application might receive funding. Deputy Griffin subsequently raised the matter with Minister of State in the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Peter Burke, and again pressed the case hard for funding for both towns rather than just one. Today, Deputy Griffin paid tribute to Kerry County Council officials and business organisations in Tralee and Killarney for their work on the applications to Government and for their vision for the future of Kerry’s two largest towns. He said that the funding is welcome at a time of terrible loss and challenge for the people of Kerry and hopes it will help in a significant way to rebuild the economy of Kerry in the post-Covid era. ENDS Further information from Brendan on 0858892939 URDF funding for Kerry County Council to date: The €32 million in approved funding is in addition to €3.71 million in approved URDF funding for three ‘Call 1’ projects: ‘Phase I Tralee Town Centre – Rock Street, Russell Street and Bridge Street’; ‘Smarter Travel Killarney (Link & Public Realm)’; and ‘Áras Phádraig Masterplan’. Total URDF funding approved to date: €35.72 million