A Tidy Towns project in Clonmellon (library pic).

Humphreys extends closing date for applications to Tidy Towns funding

The Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys, TD, has announced an extension to the closing date for applications under the €1 million top-up fund for Tidy Towns groups.

The closing date has been extended until Friday March 19, to enable as many groups as possible to apply for funding.

The minister allocated €1m in funding last December to support Tidy Towns groups, with €1,000 available to every eligible group. In total, there are 987 eligible groups. The funding is a top-up to the €1.4m allocated to Tidy Towns groups at the end of 2019.

While the SuperValu Tidy Towns competition could not take place in 2020 as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, Minister Humphreys has confirmed that the 2021 competition will go ahead, with adaptations as necessary to meet public health guidelines.

The launch date will be announced in the coming months.

Minister Humphreys said: “Last December, I gave a commitment that the SuperValu Tidy Towns competition would proceed in 2021, albeit in a slightly different format due to the Covid-19 restrictions.

“I also made additional funding of €1 million available to the Tidy Towns groups to assist them in their preparations for the competition. I have written to every registered group, through Pobal, advising them how to apply for this funding.

“I want to encourage all groups to avail of this funding. The closing date for receipt of applications was originally the start of March, but in the current circumstances, I am extending this deadline to Friday March 19.”

The Minister added: “I want to take this opportunity to thank the thousands and thousands of Tidy Towns volunteers that have given their time and skills so generously over the years. The competition continues to grow in popularity, with a record number of 924 entries in 2019.

“As we continue to deal with the challenges of Covid-19, I am conscious of the health and wellbeing of Tidy Towns volunteers. Their safety is paramount. Social distancing must be maintained and public health advice heeded.

“I hope to be in a position to launch this year’s competition when restrictions around public gatherings and outdoor activities allow.

“I will keep the situation under review, but in the meantime, we all need to continue to work together to keep one another safe by following the public health guidelines.”