Business owners in Keady could be given cash to help ‘spruce up’ their premises as part of ongoing plans to lift and boost the south Armagh town.
Confirmation comes with the appointment this week of a contractor for the environmental improvement works in the town centre.
That will pave the way for the work to get underway in the autumn.
In Keady, the town centre will benefit from environmental improvements along Bridge Street, Davis Street, Market Street, Kinelowen Street and on the Armagh Road.
It will also see works in other public areas in the town, including the area around the existing monument, library and mill.
The main body of work will run from Kinelowen Street at the Fire Station right up the town to the site of the former police station at Davis Street.
The environmental improvements – which have been in the offing since 2014 – follow the completion and opening of the Tommy Makem Community and Arts Centre.
The next step of the process after this is completed will be a scheme – similar to one previously offered in Armagh – which will see business owners given the chance to apply for funding to enhance their properties.
It will also help to lessen dereliction within the town, where many units now sit empty and have fallen into a state of disrepair.
The latest developments have been welcomed by local Sinn Féin Councillor Darren McNally.
He said: “I’m delighted the council has appointed the contractor for this scheme and it is anticipated they will be on site by early autumn of this year, with an estimated completion date of early 2017.
“The council will also be releasing a call for shop front improvement grant applications around September or October and these are well worth getting involved with.
“We anticipate that we will be providing up to £1500 per building to support the costs of improvements to shop fronts, painting etc.
“It would be the council’s preference that the shop front improvements would follow on from the completion of the environmental improvement scheme and we will be working to achieve this with the shop front scheme.
“These projects will all add to the safety, accessibility and tourist and commercial potential of this fantastic area so I am delighted to see it progressing.”