€15 million in funding has been announced to help revitalise rural towns and villages post Covid-19.
Revealed by Minister for Rural and Community Development Heather Humphreys, the Town and Village Renewal Scheme is “designed to breathe new life into rural communities – making them more attractive places to live, work, socialise and raise a family”.
Rural towns and villages
The initiative is deemed a key part of ‘Our Rural Future’, the government’s five-year strategy to revitalise rural Ireland.
The measures that will be supported by the 2021 Town and Village Renewal Scheme include:
- Tackling dereliction in town centres;
- Turning vacant properties into remote working and community spaces;
- Supporting local authorities to run innovative marketing campaigns targeted at attracting remote workers to their county;
- Investing in green spaces, parks and recreational amenities;
- Upgrading and improving shop fronts and streetscapes on Main Streets;
- Projects that support and enhance the night time economy and add vibrancy to town centres.
The Town and Village Renewal Scheme is administered through the local authorities, who are required to work closely with local communities and local businesses to develop and implement proposals.
The previous maximum grant of €200,000 has been increased to €500,000 under this year’s scheme so that projects of scale can be supported.
Launching the scheme yesterday (Monday, May 3), Minister Humphreys said:
“As part of the Government ambitious new rural development policy, Our Rural Future, I am determined to make our rural towns and villages vibrant and attractive places to live, work, socialise and raise a family.
“As part of the €15 million Fund I am announcing today, I want to see innovative and exciting projects coming forward that will make a real and lasting difference in our rural towns and villages.
“The focus of this year’s scheme is to renovate derelict and vacant buildings in our town centres and give them a new purpose – whether it is for remote working, cultural or community use.
“I have increased the maximum grant to €500,000 this year so that projects of scale and ambition can be put forward.”
Highlighting a momentum around remote working, the minister said there will be support for “local authorities to run innovative marketing campaigns highlighting what their area has to offer in terms of remote working facilities as well as cultural and recreational amenities”.
This is about showcasing our rural towns and villages with the aim of attracting remote workers and the so called ‘digital nomads’ to come and live in rural Ireland.
Full details of the scheme are available on gov.ie.