Wednesday, 28 June 2000
Dáil Eireann Debate
197. Mr. U. Burke asked the Minister for the Environment and Local Government when he will announce details of grants available to the towns of Portumna, Loughrea, Ballygar and Headford in County Galway under the town renewal schemes; and if the towns of Gort, Woodford and Athenry will be included in next year's scheme list. [18716/00]
Minister of State at the Department of the Environment and Local Government (Mr. Molloy): The town renewal scheme is a tax incentive rather than a grants based scheme. Town renewal plans have been submitted by Galway County Council in relation to Portumna, Loughrea, Ballygar, Headford and Clifden. The expert advisory panel is now in the process of examining the town renewal plans submitted by the various county councils. The panel will make recommendations to me as to the areas to be designated and the incentives to be applied. Subject to the agreement of the Minister for Finance, I will then announce the designations and I expect to be in a position to do this next month.
Under the guidelines for the scheme a total of 233 towns were identified as being eligible and in accordance with a selection formula based on the numbers of towns in each county a maximum limit of towns for which town renewal plans could be submitted was set. Applying this formula resulted in a total of 102 towns for which plans could be submitted; selection of these towns was a matter for each county council.
This initial phase of the scheme will be of three years duration. It is envisaged extending the scheme to further eligible towns in later phases of the scheme. However, my priority now is to ensure the successful implementation of this initial phase following the announcement of designations next month.
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