On March 4, 2022, Ireland‘s Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, announced €850,000 ($928,000 million USD) in funding to support 19 rural regeneration projects across the country.
The funding is being provided under the Town and Village Renewal Scheme as part of Our Rural Future and places a strong emphasis on projects which tackle vacancy and dereliction by bringing landmark town centre buildings back to life.
Announcing the funding in Enniscrone, County Sligo, Minister Humphreys said, “The Town and Village Renewal Scheme is all about breathing new life into rural communities. It’s about tackling the scourge of dereliction and vacancy that we all know has been an issue in rural communities for decades.”
“It’s about creating Public Plazas, Green Spaces and Community Parks in the centres of our towns and villages – building on the objectives set out in our Town Centre First strategy,” she continued. “But importantly, it’s also about taking old iconic buildings – the likes of old Garda stations, train stations, old factories, cinemas and convents – and giving them a new lease of life.”
The investment, under the Town and Village Renewal Scheme, aims to breathe new life into rural communities, support remote working, tackle vacancy and dereliction enhance town centre living.
This strand makes funding of up to €50,000 available to local authorities to assist them to contribute to a pipeline of significant, well-developed projects which will subsequently progress to construction stage with the help of more investment in the future.
The funding follows on from the announcement a week or so earlier of almost €18.5 million ($20.2 million USD) under the Town and Village Renewal Scheme, which supported 99 projects across the country.
Among the new projects being funded:
- Castletownbere, Co Cork: Funding to kick off an exciting project that will see the re-development of an old church into a fishing museum and community hub.
- Woodford in Galway: Redevelopment of an old cinema and courthouse into a community, heritage and tourism hub for the village.
- Ballintubber and Tarmonbarry, Co Roscommon: Beginning the process of turning two old Garda stations into community facilities.
- Enniscrone, Co. Sligo: Masterplan for the redevelopment of a vacant factory building into a co-working facility.
Humphreys explained, “I am delighted there was such a strong response to the new Project Development Measure. It will provide a mechanism for scoping out future projects in order to ensure projects are advanced to a shovel-ready stage. At that point a more comprehensive funding application can be made, and quality projects progressed to construction. Today we are supporting the development of a pipeline of 19 projects with funding of over €850,000.”
She concluded, “This announcement is testament to my commitment to breathe new life into our towns and villages. It will assist in facilitating choices around remote working and tackle dereliction & urban decay. It also builds on the funding of almost €18.5 million announced last week to 99 towns and villages across Ireland.”