Former garda stations, schools, post offices, parish halls, restaurants and pubs to set to benefit from a government scheme to repurpose old buildings in rural communities.

Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys has today (Monday, January 15) announced funding of over €4.5 million to tackle dereliction and vacancy in rural towns and villages.

The investment, being made available under the Town and Village Renewal Scheme, will see 24 old and derelict buildings repurposed for community use.

This is the second year of investment under the scheme’s building acquisition measure, with up to €500,000 in funding being provided to each local authority to purchase and re-develop the sites.

Councils were invited to apply to purchase up to three such buildings within the €500,000 available.

Derelict buildings

Minister Humphreys said that the scheme aims to “breathe a new lease of life into our rural towns and villages”.

“This initiative is all about giving our local communities the tools to address the challenges of vacancy and dereliction in their towns and villages.

“Through this funding, we are taking those run-down buildings and turning them into facilities that will benefit communities for generations to come.

“By doing so, we will help to drive footfall into our town centres, increase tourism and, above all, make our rural towns and villages even better places to live, work, invest, visit and raise a family,” she said.

Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys

Among the 24 projects to be funded under the €4.5 million building acquisition measure are:

  • Ballyroan, Co. Laois: A former national school to be used as a multi-purpose community venue;
  • Bellacorrick, Co. Mayo: A former garda barracks for use as a multi-purpose community hub, community gym and remote working hub;
  • Enfield, Co. Meath: A former parish hall for use as a multipurpose community space;
  • Villierstown, Co. Waterford: A site with derelict buildings – to regenerate the derelict buildings into a modern permanent structure including a boathouse, camping site, additional parking facilities, multi-purpose community space;
  • Belturbet, Co. Cavan: A former bakery for conversion into a multi-purpose community facility;
  • Tipperary Town, Co. Tipperary: Redevelopment of a three-storey former pub and fast foot outlet to convert into a multi-purpose community space.