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Outdoor dining grants set to revitalise tourism

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By Sean Moriarty

 

Killarney businesses will be able to apply to Kerry County Council for grants to encourage outdoor dining as part of a national programme to reopen the country. Hospitality sector business will be able to claim €4,000 or 75 percent of the cost of outdoor furniture like seating and tables and other fixtures like external heaters.

It was announced earlier this week that a total of €17m is being made available nationally under a two-part scheme which will be delivered in partnership between Fáilte Ireland and Local Authorities.

Part One of the scheme will provide funding for individual tourism and hospitality businesses to develop and increase their own outdoor seating capacity.

Funding allocated under Part Two will enable Local Authorities to develop permanent outdoor public dining spaces in towns and urban centres, similar to those that exist in various European cities.

Cllr Michael Gleeson has previously called for such a public scheme to be created in Killarney and he pushed for this even before the pandemic brought the idea of outdoor dining to the fore.

“Prior to the abolition of town councils we looked at this a lot. A factory in Germany was visited but it all went on the backfoot,” he told the Killarney Advertiser. “It is amazing how these things come the full circle and is back on the agenda again. I would welcome such a move, it would greatly enhance the ambience of our town for locals and visitors alike.”

At the time of Gleeson’s first proposal in 2013 a local engineer, Paudie O’Mahoney, devised a plan to keep the rain off of tourists and locals alike.

It included placing an ‘artificial roof’ over the streets of Killarney which can be removed in the summer when the weather is nice and put back up when it’s raining.

Kerry County Council’s Chief Executive Moira Murrell, is also Chair of the Rural Development, Community, Tourism, Culture and Heritage Committee, the national body behind the scheme.

“We look forward to creating outdoor dining experiences around the country that not only benefit locals, but are also attractive to domestic and overseas visitors when the sector reopens," she said. "Developing outdoor infrastructure is a key element of answering the consumer demand for more flexible dining options.”

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Killarney allocated over €600,000 for public outdoor dining

By Sean Moriarty The plan to place council operated outdoor dining on Kenmare Place took a step closer to reality this week. On Wednesday Fáilte Ireland revealed that 38 Municipal Districts were successful in their funding applications. Killarney is set to receive €604,505 under the scheme which is managed by the national tourism promotion body. […]

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By Sean Moriarty

The plan to place council operated outdoor dining on Kenmare Place took a step closer to reality this week.

On Wednesday Fáilte Ireland revealed that 38 Municipal Districts were successful in their funding applications.

Killarney is set to receive €604,505 under the scheme which is managed by the national tourism promotion body.

“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,” said Minister for Tourism Catherine Martin at Wednesday’s announcement.

Elected members of Killarney Municipal District are scheduled to meet in the coming weeks and more details of the project will be revealed after this meeting.

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Student grants and renting

Supports Available It’s that time of year where parents and their school leaving children are preparing for college for the first time. The main financial support for students or their parents is the Student Grant from SUSI (Student Universal Support Ireland). SUSI typically accepts late applications up until November. This is a means tested grant […]

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Supports Available

It’s that time of year where parents and their school leaving children are preparing for college for the first time. The main financial support for students or their parents is the Student Grant from SUSI (Student Universal Support Ireland). SUSI typically accepts late applications up until November. This is a means tested grant which may cover the fees (student contribution) and provide maintenance.

The limits that apply to the grant vary, but if the student was coming from a family with less than four dependent children, in order to qualify for the maximum rate of grant the total net income in the previous tax year would have to have been €39,875 or less. That refers to both the parent’s income and the student’s income, however €4,500 of the student’s income which they earn outside term time e.g. during the summer will be disregarded.

PUP

If the student was getting the PUP payment because they lost their part-time job due to the pandemic, this is taken into account. Currently there are no disregards allowed for PUP payments. If there is more than one student attending college from the same household, the limit may be increased by €4,830.

Maximum Student Grant

There are actually two different maximum rates of grant. There are referred to as the adjacent and non-adjacent rate. The adjacent rate is for students living within 45km of the college and the non-adjacent rate is for students living more than 45km from the college. The adjacent rate is €3,025. The non-adjacent rate is €1,125. There has always been a special higher rate of grant for disadvantaged students.

Student Assistance Fund

Yes, separate from the Student Grant from SUSI the colleges have access to the Student Assistance Fund. Students can apply directly through their college for assistance with expenses such as books or laptops. Typically, this involves completing an application form and going for a short interview in the college. There are no set amounts of funding under this scheme. The college will assess each application on its own merits.

Renting for the First Time

Don’t be tempted to pay a deposit or sign a tenancy agreement until you have seen the property. If you are signing a tenancy agreement check if you want to live in the property for the time period stated on the agreement, check for early break clauses. Make sure you have correct contact details for the landlord. If you chose to leave the property early you may lose your deposit.

Deposits

The landlord should only retain the deposit or part of it to cover any damage to the property beyond normal wear and tear. The tenant should take pictures of the property before they move out as evidence of the condition they left the property in.

Rents

There are different rules depending on whether the property is in a Rent Pressure Zone or not. A Rent Pressure Zone (RPZ)  is an area where rents cannot be increased by more than general inflation. At the beginning of a new tenancy in a RPZ, a landlord is required to provide the tenant, in writing, with the amount of rent that was last set. For a tenancy not located in a Rent Pressure Zones a landlord may increase the rent in line with market value once every two years.

For anyone needing information, advice or have an advocacy issue, you can call a member of the local Citizens Information team in Kerry on 0761 07 7860. The offices are staffed from Monday to Friday from 10am to 4pm, email tralee@citinfo.ie or log on to www.citizensinformation.ie for further information.

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