The West Cork Municipal District has agreed to set aside a fund of €60,000 for six West Cork towns to purchase Christmas Lights. Welcoming the funding, Dunmanway based independent councillor, Mr. Declan Hurley said, “The six towns listed in the County Development Plan, Bantry, Castletownbere Clonakilty, Dunmanway, Skibbereen and Schull, will benefit to the tune of €10,000 each to upgrade or purchase new Christmas Lights for the 2015 festive season.
According to Cllr Hurley, “Prior to the disbanding of town councils, a number of them provided some grants to towns to help them put up Christmas lights and the rest of the cost was normally met by local businesses. However, it was only town councils which did this and towns which were controlled by the county council didn’t, up to now, receive a grant from the local authority.”
Cllr Hurley said, “The old system of funding was unfair because businesses in town council controlled areas traditionally paid lower rates than their counterparts in the county council controlled areas. This new fund now offers a more equitable grant-aid system across West Cork for Christmas lighting.”
“We need to support our businesses as much as possible to keep people shopping locally. What’s taken in during the Christmas season can make or break a business and this initiative is one way we can help businesses, as it will greatly enhance the festive look of our towns around West Cork this Christmas,” he added.
“As well as bringing a feel-good factor to our towns over the festive period, a high quality Christmas lights display across all towns in West Cork will bring many economic benefits, including attracting visitors from further afield and encouraging them to stay longer,” concluded Cllr Hurley.