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Funding boost for outdoor dining in Ennis town centre

FUNDING of €186,975 has been allocated to Clare County Council to transform parts of Ennis to facilitate permanent outdoor dining. Francis Street, Lower Parnell Street, Abbey Street Car Park and the Temple Gate Plaza are set to benefit from the funding announced under Fáilte Ireland’s Outdoor Dining Enhancement Scheme.
Minister for Tourism Catherine Martin TD and Fáilte Ireland announced the locations of 38 permanent Outdoor Dining facilities to be developed in 19 counties nationwide, including Clare.
Fáilte Ireland’s Outdoor Dining Enhancement Scheme opened for applications in March 2021 and comprises two parts. Wednesday’s announcement relates to Part Two of the scheme.
All local authorities were invited to apply to Fáilte Ireland for funding under Part Two – Local Authority Weatherproofing & Outdoor Dining Enhancement Scheme – to develop streets and public spaces to facilitate year-round weather-proofed outdoor dining in urban tourism centres. 
Part One of the Scheme – Outdoor Seating and Accessories – supports individual hospitality businesses with grants of up to €4,000 for seating, tables and outdoor accessories. Closing date for receipt of applications is September 30 2021.
Minister for Tourism, Arts, Culture, Sport, Gaeltacht and Media, Catherine Martin T.D and Paul Kelly CEO Fáilte Ireland were in Howth, County Dublin to make the official announcement.
Minister Catherine Martin said, “The aim of this scheme is to support tourism and hospitality jobs and help businesses develop new ways of catering for domestic and international tourists outdoors. Access to outdoor dining facilities will continue to be a key part of industry recovery as we look forward to 2022 and beyond. This scheme further strengthens the Government’s deep commitment to develop tourism and necessary infrastructure nationwide.”
Paul Kelly CEO of Fáilte Ireland added: “This scheme supports resilience and survival in the short term and the recovery of the tourism sector in the long-term. Outdoor dining and hospitality will now be a year-round feature of our hospitality offering and businesses need to be supported to facilitate this. We have already seen the success of the first part of this scheme, which provides individual businesses up to €4,000 towards the cost of outdoor seating. This second part of the scheme being announced today is implemented in partnership with local authorities and will build on strengthening the outdoor dining offering around Ireland to help businesses towards sustainable recovery.”
Moira Murrell, Chair of the CCMA Rural Development, Community, Tourism, Culture and Heritage (RCTCH) Committee stated, “The implementation of the Local Authority Weatherproofing and Outdoor Dining Enhancement scheme will be hugely beneficial for towns and cities around Ireland, enhancing infrastructure and allowing local hospitality businesses to adapt and develop their offering. We look forward to working with Fáilte Ireland on the completion of this scheme.”

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