The deadline has been extended until Friday, March 19th, for Tidy Towns committees to apply for grants of up to €1,000 in “top-up funding” to help them prepare for this year’s competition.

While the SuperValu Tidy Towns competition was cancelled in 2020, the national organisers promised it would go ahead this year.

The announcement of an extension to the grant scheme was made yesterday evening by Heather Humphreys, Minister for Rural and Community Development, and all committees have been informed.

Having begun in 1958, the competition is one of rural and urban Ireland’s oldest and most popular community initiatives. In 2019, a record 924 entries were received and the village of Glaslough in Co Monaghan was the overall winner that year. No wonder they won – albeit by a single point  – see photo!

When is the last time you gave the signage in your area a good scrubbing? It only takes a few minutes.

Previous winners include Listowel, Co. Kerry, and Westport, Co. Mayo, and there are now 987 eligible Tidy Towns groups registered across the country.

The top-up grant funding follows on from the announcement in December by Minister Humphreys of €1m extra for Tidy Towns.

Further details about this year’s competition will be revealed in the coming weeks. The first priority as Minister Humphreys stressed is to ensure people follow the public health guidelines and adhere to social distancing.

No doubt with Spring here people around the country are keen to get out and about – in a safe mode – to give their communities the ultimate spring clean.

While the main prizes are for general tidiness, the competition categories have expanded over the years to cover social inclusion, diversity, biodiversity.

Ballyhaunis Tidy Towns members Mary Donnelly, Francis May and Kay Curley pictured in 2019 with their awards. Photo by: A. Meagher.

Glaslough Junior Tidy Towns team in action last June. Photo courtesy of @Glasloughtt

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