Cork County Council has succeeded in securing an investment of over €950,000 from the National Transport Authority (NTA) for a number of initiatives developed through the Council’s Project ACT initiative, established to activate the local economy in response to the Covid 19 crisis.

Over 50 initiatives have been approved for funding, designed to enhance safety and accessibility, as well as increasing the availability of public space in each of the council’s 8 Municipal Districts (MDs).

West Cork MD are set to receive over €219k, which will see substantial improvements in the towns of Bantry, Castletownbere, Glengarriff, Schull, Skibbereen, Dunmanway and Clonakilty. Notable projects include the relocation of a bus stop in Bantry to facilitate the widening of the footpath along the quays, providing space for outdoor seating, bicycle parking and planters. In Dunmanway, a section of the river walk will be opened to complete a pedestrian link between the town centre and the amenity area, while in Clonakilty plans include the extension of footpaths, the addition of bicycle stands and cycling facilities to accommodate increased cycling connectivity.

Bandon Kinsale MD will benefit from €140k funding towards the creation of a new plaza between Market Tavern and the Museum in Kinsale and an amenity area for outdoor seating and tables at Bridge Lane in Bandon.

In the East Cork MD, Midleton is set to gain parklets for use by local restaurants and businesses and alongside Youghal, is drawing an investment of just under €150k for these and other improvements for pedestrians and town users.

Funding totalling €69k has been awarded for Carrigaline MD, which will see markings and improvements to footpaths and crossings, as well as Age Friendly car parking and upgrades to the Passage West Monkstown Greenway.

Extensive works on footpath widening and marking, pedestrian crossing installation, safety measures and improvements have been granted throughout the MDs with funding approved for Cobh MD (€85.3k), Fermoy MD (€135k), Kanturk Mallow MD (€88k) and Macroom (€70k), to stimulate social and economic recovery countywide.

Mayor of the County of Cork Cllr Mary Linehan Foley welcomed the funding, saying:

“The nationwide response to Covid 19 has been outstanding, with so many different groups and organisations pulling together to protect and support one another. This national funding will greatly advance projects designed by our Project ACT Town Teams in all areas of the county. The level of collaboration is truly inspiring and these measures will help our communities minimise the spread of Covid 19, while improving our social and economic wellbeing.”

Chief Executive of Cork County Council, Tim Lucey added:

“This significant investment by the NTA will go towards targeted measures to enhance the safety, accessibility and economic stability of towns throughout the County. The support of the NTA for the initiatives proposed in Project ACT is very welcome and is confirmation of the sustainability of the principles underpinning our Town Strategies. Cork County Council will continue to explore available options to fund the radical suite of improvements chosen by our collaborative Town Teams, which are already delivering great improvements in our communities. Ensuring our towns and villages are safe and inviting places to live in, to work in and to visit is a fundamental element of Project ACT. These transformative initiatives enabled by this most recent announcement will benefit our communities long into the future.”

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