1st April 2021 | Green Gazette

Green Ministers announce funding for outdoor dining, built heritage and Creative Climate Action


Minister Martin announces €17m for Outdoor Dining Scheme

Minister for Tourism Catherine Martin TD and Fáilte Ireland this week announced details of a new €17 million Scheme for developing outdoor dining capacity nationwide.

The Outdoor Dining Enhancement Scheme will provide funding for individual tourism and hospitality businesses to develop and increase their own outdoor seating capacity, enable Local Authorities to develop permanent outdoor public dining spaces in towns and urban centres, similar to those that exist in various European cities.

“This Scheme has two main objectives,” Minister Martin said, announcing the Scheme. “Firstly, to enable individual tourism and hospitality businesses increase their dining and seating capacity in the short-term and secondly to enable a long-term strategy for local authorities to develop appropriate permanent weatherproofed outdoor dining infrastructure. The aim is to support jobs and businesses and to transform appropriate outdoor spaces within our cities and towns as welcoming, vibrant places that will help support economic recovery.”

Minister Noonan announces €3m in funding for 477 built heritage projects

Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform, Malcolm Noonan, TD, has announced that 477 heritage projects across every county in the country will benefit from a total of €3m under this year’s Built Heritage Investment Scheme (BHIS).

In addition to supporting owners and custodians of historic and protected structures to safeguard and maintain their properties, this funding will also provide a welcome boost to local construction and heritage trades by facilitating works with a total value of over €15.5m and leveraging an estimated 19,000 days’ labour.

“I am delighted to announce €3m investment in our built heritage which will assist 477 owners and custodians of historic and protected structures right across the country as they carry out hundreds of small-scale, labour-intensive projects to repair and safeguard our built heritage”, Speaking today, Minister Noonan said.

“These awards will provide much-needed economic stimulus in all 31 local authority areas and will give employment to the many small businesses, skilled conservation specialists and tradespeople involved in heritage-related construction activity. Not only will this €3m funding help sustain specialist heritage businesses while the market recovers, it is also an investment in this Government’s commitment under the Programme for Government to encourage traditional building skills.”

Ministers Martin and Ryan launch Creative Climate Action fund

Minister Catherine Martin also this week launched the Creative Climate Action on behalf of the Creative Ireland Programme. This new fund invites local authorities and creative practitioners to put their skills of engagement to the cultural challenge of climate change. This €2 million fund over two years will be administered by the Creative Ireland Programme and supports the Programme for Government.

“This unique fund is a call to arms for the arts, culture, heritage and wider creative communities to engage the public on the climate crisis”, Minister Martin said. “If climate change is essentially all about cultural change, then who better than the cultural and creative world to take this on.”

“We are looking for projects that can meaningfully connect people with the profound changes happening in our environment, society and economy, and which can transform that connection into climate action and behaviour change.”

Welcoming the launch of the fund, Minister Ryan TD said:

“Tackling climate change and securing a more sustainable future for our citizens is a key priority of the Programme for Government. It is wonderful to see how our ambitions are being realised through all aspects of government. I want to congratulate my colleague Minster Catherine Martin and her team for devising and supporting this unique fund which I believe will make a very real difference to the way we think about climate change. I look forward with enthusiasm to see what our creative community will propose.”


€70m in new funding to rural councils for active cycling and walking infrastructure

The Minister for Transport, Eamon Ryan TD, this week announced spending totalling €72.8m for 340 sustainable transport projects in 19 local authorities, the first ever major active travel investment programme for rural Ireland. The funding is in addition to the multi-annual active travel investment programme announced on February 11th which has already designated €240m to Dublin, the GDA and regional cities.

“Today’s allocation marks another significant step forward in providing green sustainable transport options to those outside of the large urban centres”, Minister Ryan said.

“Developing high quality walking and cycling facilities will encourage more people to switch to active travel and will contribute to tackling climate change. Connecting communities and making walking and cycling attractive, safe and accessible to everyone is what this funding will help to accomplish.”


Minister Ryan launches Public Consultation on the National Investment Framework for Transport 

Minister Ryan TD also this week published the draft National Investment Framework for Transport in Ireland, which sets out the Department of Transport’s new long-term strategy for investing in land transport. The framework seeks to ensure that investment in land transport delivers a high-performing network and supports the delivery of national spatial planning and climate change policies.

“The land transport network connects communities across our island”, Minister Ryan said. “As transport is a key enabler of our spatial and climate change policies, your views will inform how transport supports sustainable social, environmental and economic development nationwide.”