€2m for Westmeath projects from Just Transition fund
(Above)Just Transition Commissioner Kieran Mulvey.
Almost €850,000 has been allocated for an “Economic Enterprise Space” in Kinnegad and over €620,000 for the renovation of the Harbour Building in Kilbeggan as part of the government's €27m Just Transition funding package announced for the midlands today.
In total, the €27m will be divided between 47 projects in the region, including €391,000 for a pedestrian and cycle link in Killucan and €212,00 for the revitalisation of Ballinahown Village Hall.
In addition to the €27m, over €100m has been allocated for a bog restoration package. It is believed that 350 jobs will be created and and many of those who used to work for Bord na Mona will be recruited for this, due to their in depth knowledge of the peatlands.
The news has been welcomed by Minister of States Peter Burke and Robert Troy, who said that the funding will provide and economic and social boost to the entire region.
Minister Burke said: “I was delighted to work with Just Transition Commissioner Kieran Mulvey and my colleague Hildegarde Naughton on these applications to ensure that areas in need see significant investment due to the move away from peat.
“I have met with many of the groups, who all put significant time and resources into very comprehensive project applications.
“It was clear from the beginning that if a Just Transition was to work, for real opportunity in the midlands and economic activity and employment, significant money would have to be prioritised. Kieran Mulvey stated this from the beginning. I note the budget for this has greatly increased.
“There are also a number of projects included which will involved all midlands counties, and joint ventures between Westmeath and Longford.
“This is an exciting day for Westmeath and the Midlands and I look forward to seeing all those projects come to fruition to create employment and boost the economy of the midlands. This money will regenerate and renew these areas and will be government investment very well spent.”
Minister of State Robert Troy said that he was "very pleased to see the approval of funding for the four projects based in Westmeath under the Just Transition Fund".
"Over €2 million has been approved for developing and supporting community projects in Westmeath. This is a testament to the innovative and inspiring work carried out by Westmeath County Council, businesses, local groups and communities in Kinnegad, Killucan, Kilbeggan and Ballinahown and more broadly across the Midlands regions.
"Their commitment to supporting their communities is commendable and will contribute to the collective efforts to make the Midlands an attractive and sustainable place to live and work."