Tidy Towns groups can keep 2020 funding
(Above) Deputy Peter Burke with Minister for Rural and Community Development Michael Ring.
Tidy Towns groups in Westmeath can still use funding allocated to them despite the cancellation of this year’s competition.
Last September, Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring allocated €1.4m to groups nationwide to assist them in their preparations for this year’s SuperValu Tidy Towns competition. Westmeath’s groups received over €41,000 of this money. It was confirmed this week that Tidy Towns groups can still use the funding they have been allocated this year.
Deputy Peter Burke says that this news is a big boost to local organisations.
“I welcome the announcement that 30 Tidy Towns groups in Westmeath will not lose out on funding of €41,000 which was earmarked for them by my colleague Minister Ring to help them prepare for this year’s competition.
“Any groups that have already spent the funds they received should retain their records of expenditure in the normal way.
“I also want to assure those groups which have not yet spent the funding they received, they can continue to use it over the next few months to assist with activities they might undertake as the COVID-19 restrictions are eased, or in preparing for the 2021 competition.”
“For decades, the Tidy Towns competition has brought people of all ages in Westmeath together to work collectively outdoors to make the environment in which they live and work a better place. Due to the current restrictions in place as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, it would not have been feasible or safe for Tidy Towns groups in our communities to continue their great tradition of work in the normal way.
“However, I very much hope that once the restrictions on gatherings are eased, and where possible within the public health guidelines, they can resume their work in making towns and villages in Westmeath more attractive and welcoming.
Thirty community groups were allocated between €1,000 and €4,000 (based on population size) in order to support preparation for the 2020 competition. The largest towns of Mullingar and Westmeath received €4,000 and the five next biggest towns of Killucan, Kinnegad, Kilbeggan, Castlepollard and Moate received €2,000 each. Every other Tidy Towns group received €1,000 each to spend improving the appearance of their community.
Commenting on the announcement, Minister Ring said: “Tidy Towns groups are magnificent custodians of their communities and I know that the money will be used for the betterment of our towns and villages. Over €4 million has been allocated to Tidy Towns groups since I introduced this fund in 2017 to assist Tidy Towns groups in their wonderful work.
“I have no doubt that the SuperValu Tidy Towns competition will be back again, bigger and brighter than ever in 2021.”