Applications Open for Streetscape Enhancement Measure 2021


Our Rural Future is the government’s five-year strategy to revitalize rural Ireland and includes a  commitment to upgrade and enhance shopfronts and street facades in our rural towns and villages.
Offaly County Council has secured funding from the Department of Rural & Community  Development through this 2021 Streetscape Enhancement Measure for the towns of Tullamore,  Clara, Birr, Edenderry and Portarlington.
Please read the following Terms and Conditions attached to this scheme prior to completing the application form.
Closing date for receipt of applications is 12.00 noon on 14th September 2021
NB: Applications will be deemed invalid if not accompanied by the information requested in these Guidelines 


Offaly County Council has secured funding from the Department of Rural & Community Development for property owners to improve the building facades of their properties. Our Rural Future is the Government’s five-year strategy to revitalize rural Ireland and includes a commitment to upgrade and enhance shopfronts and street facades in our rural towns and villages. The aim of the scheme is to enhance the streetscape environment of the towns of Tullamore, Clara, Birr, Edenderry and Portarlington by encouraging and supporting owners of premises to improve their individual building facades. It is intended that the scheme will result in a more attractive environment that residents, visitors, shoppers and businesses can enjoy. It is also envisaged that this scheme will assist in promoting these towns in Offaly as attractive places for social and business interaction thereby increasing the vitality and viability of those towns, with positive benefits for all.
Building facades are an integral part of our streetscapes and well maintained building facades of suitable design are essential in providing an attractive and vibrant place in which to do business, work, shop and carry out leisure and entertainment activities.
In recognition and promotion of this, Offaly County Council has developed a Streetscape Enhancement Measure for 2021 aimed at
  •  Promoting the vitality and viability of town centres thereby contributing to a high standard of design.
  • Contributing to the enhancement of the aesthetics and character for the overall betterment of each individual town and village through a collective and coherent approach.
  • Encouraging best practice approaches to building maintenance and presentation.
  • This scheme will provide financial supports in 2021, subject to the Terms and Conditions of the Scheme.

Qualifying Areas

This Scheme is open for applications from all building owners in town centre locations in Tullamore, Clara, Birr, Edenderry, Portarlington. The premises applying for the grant must be located in the areas defined in the area maps. Please click on the relevant area below:
Guidance Documents on Policy and Standards
Guidance is contained within:
Offaly County Council’s Shopfronts and Signs Guidance leaflet available on the in the Architecture Sub-section of the Heritage page on
·        Offaly County Council’s Record of Protected Structures (see links below)  
·        Sections 8.11.2 & 8.11.3 of the Development Management Standards chapter of the Offaly County Development Plan 2014-2020. Section 14.6 of the Birr Town & Environs Development Plan 2010-2016 (Extended until 2020). 
·        Section 7.3.1 of the Edenderry LAP 2017-2023
·        Retail Design Manual associated with Retail Planning Guidelines for Planning Authorities April 2012
·        Architectural Heritage Protection - Guidelines for Planning Authorities 2011
·        Shopfront guidance provided in Section 14.5.12 of  the Offaly County Development Plan 2014 – 2020.
·        Birr Local Area Plan 2014-2020
·        Edenderry Local Area Plan 2017-2023
·        Joint Portarlington Local Area Plan 2018-2024
All of the above documents are available on
·        The plans generally require that new building façade designs are in keeping with the existing character and traditional form of the streetscape. Traditional designs and nameplates over shop windows are favored, however contemporary designs where appropriate are also open for consideration.
Terms & Conditions
  1. Maximum Grant permitted is €8,000 per building.
  2. The Budget for this scheme in 2021 is limited and applications for funding will be assessed by an Adjudication Panel appointed by the Council, whose decision shall be final.
  3. Grants will not be offered in respect of works commenced before the grant approval date.
  4. Applications may not be considered where there are local taxes or charges due to the Council. However, consideration will be given in such instance where there is an agreed payment plan in place that is being adhered to.
  5. Grant payment will be subject to the applicant having obtained planning permission, if required. Where planning permission is required, it must be in place when applying for the streetscape enhancement measure.
  6. Priority will be given to smaller independent businesses within the town centres.
  7. Applications will be accepted from either the landlord or lessee, whichever is appropriate.
  8. Works must not commence prior to receipt of written approval from Offaly County Council.
  9. No project funded under the 2021 General Town & Village Renewal Scheme will receive funding under the Streetscape Enhancement Measure 2021.
Grant Rates
70% for individual premises – matched funding 30%
80% for joint applications (groups of 3 or more adjacent premises) – matched funding 20%
100% where painting is undertaken by direct labour by applicant
Eligible Works                                                                       Maximum Grant Available 
Green enhancement of entrances/terraces with planting                                  €500
Painting of buildings/shopfront in selected colours which will
complement the host building and streetscape                                               €1,500
Mural (to be agreed in advance with the Local Authority)
Decluttering and repair of shopfronts
(can include such works as removing unnecessary signs,                                €2,000
flagpoles, wiring etc.)
Careful illumination and lighting of architectural features of buildings
Improvements to shopfront window displays and staging 
Replacement of signage with traditional wooden fascia with
wooden/hand painted lettering or contemporary design
Canopies/awnings complementary to the materials of the shopfront            €4,000
& building (including street furniture)
Replacement of existing shopfront with traditional painted wooden
shopfront or contemporary design
Will I require Planning Permission?
Where planning permission is required, it must be in place when applying for the enhancement grant.
Please note that material alterations to a Protected Structure will require Planning Permission.
Applicants are advised to contact Offaly County Council in advance of the making of any application for funding to discuss individual proposals. Guidance will be provided by a Planning Officer in respect of whether the proposed works put forward by prospective applicants for funding require the making of a planning application or whether the works proposed are exempt from planning permission.
NB - contact with the Planning Department should be made by email and should contain the first four items listed in point 3 below - “How to apply for a Grant”
The contact details for the Planning Section are follows: Offaly County Council, Aras an Chontae, Charleville Road, Tullamore, Co. Offaly, 057 9346800 
In the event that planning permission is required for the works proposed, please note that this is a separate process to this Grant Application Scheme and the associated timelines in the processing of a planning application apply. If planning permission is required, it will not be possible to process the grant application during the 2021 scheme. 
How to Apply for a Grant

Click here to apply online.

The closing date for receipt of fully completed applications is 12.00 noon on 14th September 2021
1. Applications may be made by the owner of premises or by the lessee with the owner’s written consent.
2.   Applications should clearly identify each element of the works proposed.
3.   The completed Application Form must be accompanied by a description of the proposed works to include:
• Photographs of existing building (prior to work being carried out);
• Photographs of an example of what the new building façade will look like.
• Map identifying the location of the building (a Google Map will suffice).
• Record of Protected Structures number, where relevant.
• Exact details of works proposed including a copy of relevant plans, designs and specifications for proposed works
• Indication of material type and colour scheme to be used;
• Two written quotations for the proposed works from registered builder(s)/contractor(s), one written quote for materials.
• 3 written quotations must be submitted for contracts above €5,000 as per National Procurement Guidelines
Please note the grant offer will be made on the lowest quote submitted. The applicant may choose either supplier/contractor to complete the works. However, the grant payment will not exceed the amount specified in the grant letter offer.
A site visit may be arranged with the applicant to discuss the application and if necessary facilitate the submission of further information in support of the application.
Assessment Criteria
The following will be considered in the assessment of applications:
 •      The quality and suitability of the proposed changes to the building façade
•      Priority will be given to small independent businesses within town centres
•      Impact on the immediate area of the street
•      Preference will be given to applications for clusters, where a number of adjacent properties make simultaneous applications. (A cluster application is a set of business owners where shops are located in close proximity to each other).
•      Applications for funding will be considered by an Adjudication Panel appointed by the Council. The decision to award a grant rests with Offaly County Council, whose decision shall be final.
•      NB: Incomplete applications will be deemed ineligible.
•      Grants will not be offered in respect of any works commenced before the grant approval date.
If you require further information or have any enquiries please contact: Local Enterprise Office, Offaly County Council; Tel: 05793 57480 or by emailing:
 The scheme may be the subject of review and amendment at any time by the Council.
The Council and Department of Rural and Community Development reserve the right to publish photographs of improved buildings in promotional material associated with the scheme and its purpose.
Grant Drawdown
1.   Payment will only be made following completion of appropriate, approved works.
2.   Upon completion of works, the applicant must submit evidence of paid contractor invoices, together with photos of the completed works to Offaly County Council.
3.   All payments must be made through the applicant’s bank account. Cash payments will not be eligible for grant aid. Bank Statements will be required as evidence of payment.
4.   An inspection may be undertaken to ensure compliance with the agreed work schedule.
5.   If the inspection/works are satisfactory, Offaly County Council will then pay the applicant.
6.   If a grant is not drawn down by 15 November then funding will be withdrawn, unless a prior agreement has been made.
7.   Tax Reference Number & Access Number of the proposed builder/contractor and the business owner must be provided.
Grants are awarded entirely at the discretion of the Council. If the application is successful, Offaly County Council will send a Grant Offer letter, confirming the grant offered, in accordance with the guidelines.
Any alterations to design and/or materials must be agreed in advance and recorded on the work schedule.
No grant will be paid to any project where changes are made that have not been agreed with Offaly County Council.
Date of notification from Council to applicant of application success/refusal is 24 September 2021