The Historic Towns Initiative was announced a few weeks ago.

Welcome for Historic Towns Initiative in Ballina

HISTORIC buildings in the heart of Ballina are in line for a minor makeover thanks to the Historic Towns Initiative.

At the March monthly meeting of Ballina Municipal District today, Siobhan Sexton, executive architect on the Historic Towns Initiative, said she envisages up to 10 properties on Pearse Street being 'brought back', which would have a big impact on Ballina's main street.

The funding is for the repair of windows, doors, shop fronts and anything with a conservation impact, such as cast iron gutters or slates.

Buildings targeted include the library and a number of privately-owned buildings, and applications will be invited through a newspaper advert next week. Applicants contribute 20% of the cost of repair, with the Heritage Council providing 80% of the funding.

“The scheme is designed to enhance town centre properties and restore the fabric of them,” said Ms. Sexton.

She explained that the scheme was initially set up in 2012 by the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, and Westport was one of the pilot towns. The programme was put on pause for a number of years but revived in 2018, with funding granted for some works in Ballinrobe last year.

Ms. Sexton said a total of €140,000 has been granted for the Ballina scheme, and assistance with tendering of the projects will be provided.

There was broad welcome for the scheme among elected members, especially for the fact that it is to be concentrated on Pearse Street.