On February 25, 2022, Ireland‘s Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, announced almost €18.5 million ($20.7 million USD) to help revitalize rural towns and villages all across the country.
The funding is being provided under the Town and Village Renewal Scheme as part of the Our Rural Future initiative, and places a strong emphasis on projects which tackle vacancy and dereliction by bringing landmark town centre buildings back to life.
Minister Humphreys said, “I am delighted to announce this latest round of funding as part of Our Rural Future. Many of the successful projects I am announcing today will see vacant and derelict town centre building such as old banks, garda stations and convents transformed into community, cultural and arts spaces.”
“There is also a strong focus on remote working projects in this round of funding and I am pleased to see that a number of counties have set out ambitious marketing plans aimed at attracting remote workers to relocate,” she added.
Examples of the successful projects announced include:
- Pilltown, Co. Kilkenny (€500,000)–Piltown Remote Working Hub: The project will result in the regeneration of the former Garda Station in Piltown. The redevelopment of this heritage building will see it repurposed as a remote working hub.
- Mohill, Co Leitrim (€500,000) – The redevelopment of the derelict Mohill Station House. Former train station building with significant heritage features will be brought back into use as a multi-purpose community facility to include self-catering accommodation, office space, cultural area and a public amenity space for community events and activities.
- Ballyduff Upper, Co Waterford (€250,000) – This project will bring a vacant derelict storehouse located in the village centre back to use as a multi-purpose space incorporating a shop, café, remote working/video-conferencing facilities, youth hub and gym facility.
- Donegal, Countywide €90,000 – This project will see an integrated relocation marketing campaign showcasing Donegal as the ideal location for remote working, and encouraging relocation to rural towns and villages across the County.
- Doon, Co Limerick (€250,000) – Develop the dilapidated historic convent building into a community services and e-Hub facility.
- Monksland, Co Roscommon (€500,000)–This project will develop the new Monksland Central Park, a community park and recreation amenity incorporating a multi-use, multi-generational area, tiered seating, a performance area, walking trails etc.
- Blennerville Windmill, Co Kerry (€500,000) – This project will involve the redevelopment of currently disused craft workshops adjoined to the famous Blennerville Windmill. These will be developed into a community bakery and bakery school, both of which will source local organic ingredients.
- Urlingford, Co Kilkenny (€250,000) – Development of a remote working hub in the old Bank of Ireland building in Urlingford.
- Dromahair, Co Leitrim (€250,000) – This project will involve the redevelopment of the former Garda station, which has been vacant since 2013, into a much-needed community facility. The building, which is located on Main Street, Dromahair, dates back to the 1840’s.
- Clonlara, Co Clare: (€454,000) – Creation of a public plaza area and multi-purpose community amenity in Clonlara.
- Kilglass, Co Sligo (€500,000) – The development of a modern fit-for-purpose community facility including multi-purpose spaces, meeting rooms and remote working facilities
- Cromane Connected Community Hub, Co Kerry (€100,000) – The project will see the development of a connected community hub in the former national school building within Cromane. This will future proof the village and contribute to its development as a thriving, vibrant and healthy rural community.
- Killeshin, Co.Laois (€500,000)- This project will involve the installation of a digital hub / hybrid workspace allowing people to work remotely from Killeshin.
- Tipperary Town, Co Tipperary (€500,000)– This project will create a landmark community amenity at the area known as “The Hills” in Tipperary Town with the provision of pathways, a play area, picnic benches, biodiversity planting and reflective areas.
- Roscommon, Countywide – €100,000 – Promote Roscommon as a location for remote workers / mobile talent building on the ‘Global Rossie’ platform to accelerate investment and attract remote workers to relocate to the County.
- Patrickswell, Co. Limerick (€500,000) – This project brings a prominent vacant site on Main Street in Patrickswell back into use by developing a multi-purpose community centre/hub to serve local community needs.
- Ballinalee, Co Longford (€236,000) – The proposed project will see the renovation of the historic Rose Cottage in Ballinalee. The building will be an interpretive centre and visitor attraction which details the story of General Sean MacEoin, the Blacksmith of Ballinalee.
Humphreys continued, “I have substantially increased the size of the grants available under the Town and Village Renewal Scheme this year and I am delighted to see that communities and local authorities across the country have worked together and put forward really ambitious projects which will make a lasting difference in towns and villages across the country.”
“These projects will breathe new life into our towns and villages and are real life examples of the impact that Our Rural Future is having in communities across the country. The first progress report under Our Rural Future shows the excellent progress across Government in the first year of the policy,” she concluded. “In the coming weeks, I will be announcing a further call for applications under the Town and Village Renewal Scheme and I am asking local authorities and communities to come forward with more ambitious plans for their areas.”
A further announcement in respect of successful projects under the new Project Development Measure of the Town & Village Renewal Scheme will also be made shortly. This new measure will support the development of a pipeline of shovel ready projects for delivery in our towns and villages.
Photo of house in County Mayo, Ireland via Pixabay.