Published
Mon, 18/05/2020 - 16:27
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FREE PIC - N0 REPRO FEE Mayor of the County of Cork,  Cllr. Ian Doyle (with, from left), Tim Lucey, Chief Executive, Cork Co. Co.; Noelle Desmond, Carrigaline Municipal District Officer; Ray Lee, proprieror, Centra, Charleville and Liz Maddox, chair of Cork County Older Persons Council at the launch of Project ACT ar Cork County Hall. Project ACT is a co-ordinated response across 23 towns in County Cork to support the business, retail and community sectors as they deal with the impact of COVID-19. Cork Coun
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Cork County Council announces initiatives in 23 towns to help communities and businesses to deal with the impact of COVID-19

Cork County Council has unveiled a significant suite of measures to support communities, businesses and industry as they look to recover from the impact of COVID-19. Project “ACT”, or Activating County Towns, will see newly formed Town Teams working on individual plans for 23 towns in County Cork designed to stimulate and support the economy. 

At a time when its own income sources have been severely impacted, the Council has moved swiftly to give confidence to the business, retail and community sectors through prioritised and targeted funding. Project “ACT” is being run across Cork County Council’s eight Municipal Districts with the support of Elected Members, and will see the creation of multi-sectoral teams with a targeted focus on rebuilding the economy and community life in their areas.

As a first step, a fund worth €6 million has been committed to support community, festival, events and town enhancement works. This will be used to build upon the remarkable community resilience that has been sustained since restrictions were introduced in mid-March.

In preparation for the phased return of business and community life, the 23 new Town Teams have been working to introduce specific enhanced physical distancing and pedestrian friendly zones in each location. This will include the inclusion of additional footpath space, some changes to traffic flow and outdoor supports for businesses requiring socially distanced queueing. 

Cork County Council has been engaging with Elected Members of Council, business and community leaders to collaborate on how best to implement these changes, and support businesses looking to re-open safely at the appropriate time.

Some of the immediate actions being taken include;

  • A deep clean of the main retail and pedestrian areas
  • Decluttering and fixing street furniture
  • Replanting of trees and flowerbeds
  • Additional road/pavement markings
  • Installation of 1,400 temporary bollards

Supports for vulnerable people and the over 70s are being integrated into the heart of these plans though the Older Persons Council CARE Programme. Specific measures will be introduced to enable these valued citizens to safely return to their full and active role in daily life.

County Mayor Councillor Ian Doyle has welcomed the initiative, saying;

Cork County Council will work closely with communities and businesses as we manage our way out of the current crisis. Our message is simple - Cork County Council will walk with you on every step of the road to recovery. Activating our County Towns will reward the civic pride that has resulted in stronger communities, and an optimism that this strength will see us through. I would like to commend all the council staff who are working tirelessly in each of the 23 towns, and to those who continue to provide the emergency support needed to deal with COVID-19.”

The Council can also reaffirm its commitment to its County-wide investment programme in towns and villages to ensure they can maximise the potential for future growth. During the COVID-19 period, Cork County Council finalised a loan agreement with the Council of Europe Development Bank. This is in addition to the loan facility from the European Investment Bank, which had previously been secured to fund the County Social Sustainability Programme.

Project ACT will also see funding released through a mix of capital investment and business supports designed to help stimulate the Cork economy during the phased lifting of the COVID-19 lockdown. This will also prime the economy for future growth. 

As well as providing emergency support since restrictions were introduced in March, Cork County Council officials have been very active in other areas to prepare for the return of economic activity. These include;

  • Continuing to progress projects through design, planning and tendering. Since restrictions were introduced, projects worth €22 million have gone to tender. These will support an immediate economic return for these communities, once work resumes 
  • A focused programme of measures targeted at supporting the SME sector through LEO and Economic and Tourism Development Department. This includes a range of direct supports to businesses preparing to re-open or diversify
  • A targeted Domestic Tourist Campaign, in conjunction with Visit Cork, to support tourism in each of the 23 towns, to support a revival in late 2020, and throughout 2021.

Many events that had been planned for 2020 have been cancelled. Cork County Council is committing to meeting with organisers of those events to agree a timetable for their rescheduling and establish what supports are required. 

Chief executive of Cork County Council, Tim Lucey, says;

"People across County Cork have shown incredible solidarity in recent weeks. They have stayed apart from their neighbours and friends, while ensuring that everyone who needed support received it. Cork County Council was at the forefront of the Community Call initiative, but we also recognised that the road needed to be prepared for life after COVID-19. There are many challenges that lie ahead, but by taking this action now and investing in our communities and our businesses, we can plan with a degree of confidence. From making public spaces suitable for social distancing, to supporting businesses through various initiatives, Cork County Council will do everything it can to support the entire community. This is the first time in the Council’s history that activity of this scale has been focused directly on towns and their communities. Our staff will work directly with businesses and communities, as we weather this storm. We started this together, and we will finish it together.”

 

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Fógraíonn Comhairle Contae Chorcaí tionscnaimh i 23 baile chun cabhrú le pobail agus gnóthais chun déileáil le tionchar COVID-19

Tá sraith shuntasach bearta nochta ag Comhairle Contae Chorcaí chun tacú le pobail, gnóthais agus tionscal agus iad ag iarraidh téarnamh ó thionchar COVID-19. Mar ghníomhú den tionscadal "ACT" (Bailte Contae Gníomhachtaithe nó Activating County Towns), beidh Foirne Baile nuabhunaithe ag obair ar phleananna aonair do 23 baile i gContae Chorcaí atá deartha chun an geilleagar a spreagadh agus tacú.

Le déanaí, in am ina raibh tionchar mór ar fhoinsí ioncaim an Chomhairle í féin, bhog an Chomhairle go tapaigh chun muinín a thabhairt do na hearnálacha gnó, miondíola agus pobail trí mhaoiniú tosaíochta agus spriocdhírithe. Tá Tionscadal “ACT” á reáchtáil ar fud ocht gCeantar Bhardasacha Chomhairle Contae Chorcaí le tacaíocht ó Chomhaltaí Tofa, agus cruthófar foirne il-earnálacha le fócas spriocdhírithe ar atógáil an gheilleagair agus shaol an phobail ina gceantair.

Mar chéad chéim, tá ciste de € 6 milliún geallta chun tacú le pobail, féilte, imeachtaí agus oibreacha feabhsúcháin baile. Úsáidfear é seo chun cur leis an athléimneacht iontach pobail atá ann ó tugadh srianta isteach i lár mhí an Mhárta.

Mar ullmhúchán d'fhilleadh céimnithe ar shaol an ghnó agus an phobail, tá na 23 Fhoireann Baile nua ag obair chun criosanna scaradh fisiciúla feabhsaithe sainiúla agus criosanna a thacaíonn le coisithe a thabhairt isteach i ngach láthair. Áireofar leis seo spás breise cosáin a áireamh, roinnt athruithe ar shreabhadh tráchta agus tacaíochtaí lasmuigh do ghnóthais a dteastaíonn scuaine ag teastáil le scaradh sóisialta i bhfeidhm.

Bhí Comhairle Contae Chorcaí i dteagmháil le Baill Thofa na Comhairle, le ceannairí gnó agus pobail chun comhoibriú ar an mbealach is fearr chun na hathruithe seo a chur i bhfeidhm, agus chun tacú le gnóthais atá ag iarraidh athoscailt go sábháilte ag an am cuí.

I measc cuid de na bearta láithreacha atá á ndéanamh tá;

  • Dianghlanadh ar na príomhlimistéir mhiondíola agus coisithe
  • Troscán sráide a laghdú agus a shocrú
  • Athphlandáil crainn agus leapacha bláthanna
  • Marcálacha breise bóthair / cosán
  • Suiteáil 1,400 mullaird shealadacha

Tá tacaíochtaí do dhaoine leochaileacha agus daoine os cionn 70 bliain d’aois á gcomhtháthú i gcroílár na bpleananna seo trí Chlár CÚRAM Chomhairle na nDaoine Breacaosta. Tabharfar bearta ar leith isteach chun a chur ar chumas na saoránach filleadh go sábháilte ar a ról iomlán gníomhach sa saol laethúil.

Chuir Méara an Chontae an Comhairleoir Ian Doyle fáilte roimh an tionscnamh, ag rá;

“Oibreoidh Comhairle Contae Chorcaí go dlúth le pobail agus le gnóthais agus sinne ag bainistiú ár mbealach amach as an ngéarchéim reatha. Tá ár dteachtaireacht shimplí - siúlfaidh Comhairle Contae Chorcaí leat ar gach céim den bhóthar chun téarnaimh. Tabharfaidh gníomhachtú ár mBailte Contae luach saothair don bhród cathartha a bhfuil pobail níos láidre mar thoradh air, agus an dóchas go dtabharfadh an neart seo sinne tríd. Ba mhaith liom foireann uile na comhairle atá ag obair gan staonadh i ngach ceann de na 23 baile a mholadh, agus dóibh siúd a leanann ag soláthar na tacaíochta éigeandála a theastaíonn chun déileáil le COVID-19. "

Féadann an Chomhairle a tiomantas dá clár infheistíochta ar fud an Chontae i mbailte agus i sráidbhailte a athdhearbhú lena chinntiú go bhféadfaidís an acmhainn fáis sa todhchaí a uasmhéadú. Le linn na tréimhse COVID-19, chuir Comhairle Contae Chorcaí comhaontú iasachta i gcrích le Banc Forbartha Chomhairle na hEorpa. Tá sé seo sa bhreis ar an tsaoráid iasachta ón mBanc Eorpach Infheistíochta, a bhí faighte roimhe sin chun an Clár Inbhuanaitheacht Shóisialta Chontae a mhaoiniú.

Scaoilfear Tionscadal ACT maoiniú freisin trí mheascán d’infheistíocht chaipitil agus de thacaíochtaí gnó atá deartha chun cabhrú le geilleagar Chorcaí a spreagadh le linn ardú céimnithe na glasála COVID-19. Beidh sé seo chun tosaigh freisin i bhfás an geilleagar sa todhchaí.

Chomh maith le tacaíocht éigeandála a sholáthar ó tugadh srianta isteach i mí an Mhárta, bhí oifigigh Chomhairle Contae Chorcaí ana-ghníomhach i réimsí eile chun ullmhú do ghníomhaíocht eacnamaíoch a thabhairt ar ais. Ina measc seo tá;

  • Leanúint ar aghaidh le tionscadail a chur chun cinn trí dhearadh, phleanáil agus thairiscint. Ó tugadh srianta isteach, tá tionscadail ar luach € 22 milliún tairisceana. Tacóidh siad seo le toradh eacnamaíoch láithreach do na pobail seo, a luaithe a atosnófar an obair
  • Clár beart fócasaithe atá dírithe ar thacú le hearnáil na FBManna tríd an LEO agus an Rannóg Forbartha Eacnamaíochta agus Turasóireachta. Cuimsíonn sé seo raon tacaíochtaí díreacha do ghnóthais atá ag ullmhú chun athoscailt nó éagsúlú a dhéanamh.
  • Feachtas Turasóireachta Intíre spriocdhírithe, i gcomhar le 'Visit Cork', chun tacú leis an turasóireacht i ngach ceann de na 23 baile, chun tacú le hathbheochan go déanach i 2020, agus i rith 2021.

Cuireadh go leor imeachtaí a bhí beartaithe do 2020 ar ceal. Tá Comhairle Contae Chorcaí ag gealladh go mbuailfidh sí le heagraithe na n-imeachtaí sin chun amchlár a aontú lena n-athsceidealú agus chun na tacaíochtaí a theastaíonn a fháil amach.

Deir príomhfheidhmeannach Chomhairle Contae Chorcaí, Tim Lucey;

"Tá dlúthpháirtíocht dochreidte léirithe ag daoine ar fud Chontae Chorcaí le seachtainí beaga anuas. D’fhan siad ar leithligh óna gcomharsana agus a gcairde, agus iad ag cinntiú go bhfuair gach duine a raibh tacaíocht de dhíth air. Bhí Comhairle Contae Chorcaí chun tosaigh sa tionscnamh Glaonna Pobail, ach d’aithníomar freisin gur ghá an bóthar a ullmhú don saol i ndiaidh COVID-19. Is iomaí dúshlán atá romhainn, ach tríd an ngníomh seo a dhéanamh anois agus infheistíocht a dhéanamh inár bpobail agus inár ngnóthaí, is féidir linn pleanáil le muinín go leor. Ó spásanna poiblí a dhéanamh oiriúnach le haghaidh scaradh sóisialta, chun tacú le gnóthais trí thionscnaimh éagsúla, déanfaidh Comhairle Contae Chorcaí gach rud is féidir léi chun tacú leis an bpobal ar fad. Seo an chéad uair i stair na Comhairle gur díríodh gníomhaíocht ar an scála seo go díreach ar bhailte agus ar a bpobail. Oibreoidh ár bhfoireann go díreach le gnóthais agus le pobail, agus sinne ag aimsir na stoirme seo. Chuireamar tús leis seo le chéile, agus críochnóimid é le chéile. "