THE Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, has announced the return of the SuperValu TidyTowns competition.
The iconic competition was cancelled in 2020 for the first time in over 60 years due to the Covid-19 Pandemic.
Special arrangements have now been put in place to ensure the return of the competition this year, with the overall winners due to be announced before the end of the year.
The 2021 SuperValu TidyTowns competition will take place in the same format as previous years, albeit with a specific emphasis on electronic entry and remote adjudication of each town’s entry.
Minister Humphreys said: “I am delighted to announce that this iconic competition is back. While the last year has been so challenging for everyone, I know that so many TidyTowns volunteers the length and breadth of the country have continued to look after their communities.
The Minister continued: “TidyTowns is not just a competition. It demonstrates everything good about our people in terms of volunteerism, positivity, working together, community spirit, protecting our environment, that sense of pride in looking after the place you call home.
"For years, TidyTowns volunteers have shown great resilience and determination even more so over the past year as our communities came together in the face of adversity,” she added.
Also speaking about the launch was Ian Allen, Managing Director of SuperValu:
“At its heart, TidyTowns is the public expression of the work countless individuals undertake to make our communities better places in which to work and live.
“Following a year like no other, this year’s competition is about recognising work of volunteers who have continued in every way possible and collectively help to lift the mood of the nation,” he said.
Minister Humphreys has introduced a new award category aimed at groups that have continued to serve and look after their communities despite the difficulties posed by Covid-19.
The Minister has also introduced a special prize for young people, which was committed under Our Rural Future the Government’s ambitious new strategy for Rural Ireland.
Minister Humphreys announced a €1 million fund in December to further support the TidyTowns Groups across the country.
The Minister also confirmed that over 800 TidyTowns Groups have now been awarded grants of up to €1,000 under this fund.