28 Jan 2022

Longford TD wants local authorities to administer new support scheme

Flaherty: 'Longford County Council should champion Outdoor Dining Scheme'

Longford TD wants local authorities to administer new support scheme

Deputy Joe Flaherty

Longford TD, Joe Flaherty, is urging the County Council to target the recently announced  €250,000 grant to develop public spaces, in order to rehabilitate the Breaden’s Lane area of Longford town.

The scheme announced by Minister Catherine Martin, seeks to create a space  to facilitate the needs of local arts and entertainment communities.

Deputy Flaherty said: “Local businessman Luie Herterich is already advancing his old Pig Market open air market and dining area which will link Main St and Breaden’s Lane for the first time. This represents a real opportunity to create a unique space off the main thoroughfare.”

He is critical of the recently announced Bord Failte Outdoor Dining Scheme, which will only be rolled out at eight urban locations. It includes Dublin, Kilkenny and  Killarney and is  about ensuring the infrastructure is in place to support outdoor dining

Deputy Flaherty remarked, “We were expecting a grant based scheme that would be open to all food and hospitality businesses. Covid-19 didn’t discriminate geographically  and in addition to the €8m set aside for this scheme, Bord Failte has another €7m which it didn’t spent last year.”

He said that Longford Co Council was one of the most proficient local authorities when it came to rolling out the Restart Grant scheme. “You give Longford Co Council €250,000 and it would administer it in a  series of transformative grants across several local businesses.”

Deputy Flaherty said we need to give businesses a fighting chance. “Re-opening won’t be easy and the public  will be reticent so we need to ensure that businesses  have the supports in place to ensure customers return. Concentrating those supports in a few select areas is lazy and disrespectful.”

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