Over €4 million for Covid-19 adaptations in rural towns and villages

137 rural towns and villages across the country are set to benefit from a funding announcement of €4.3 million for Covid-19 adaptations.

Minister for Rural and Community Development Heather Humphreys has announced details of the funding scheme which will help local communities adjust to Covid-19 restrictions.

The funding is being delivered under the Accelerated Measure of the Town and Village Renewal Scheme.

The funding will enable towns and villages to implement immediate measures that will encourage people into towns and villages to shop and socialise, while adhering to public health guidelines.

The funding announced today (Monday, October 12) is in addition to €6.1 million allocated by Minister Humphreys to 226 towns and villages since July under the same scheme.

The allocation includes funding of €1.5 million for 38 large towns with populations in excess of 10,000, which have not previously been funded through the Town and Village Renewal Scheme.

Projects being funded

Among the projects set to benefit from this latest funding are the refurbishment of Millenium Square in Tullamore, Co. Offaly, and the provision of outdoor community amenities in Kilteevan, Co. Roscommon.

The funding will also be used to enhance digital hubs and Broadband Connection Points (BCPs) across the country to support remote working.

Minister Humphreys said: “Our rural towns and villages have always played a huge role in supporting businesses and communities by providing spaces for people to meet, socialise and shop locally.”

Recognising their importance to the economic and social well-being of rural areas, the Town and Village Renewal Scheme has invested significantly in towns and villages over the last number of years.

The scheme is now more important than ever to assist businesses and communities to address the challenges that Covid-19 has brought to their towns and villages.

“The allocation includes funding of €1.5 million for 38 large towns with populations in excess of 10,000, which have not previously been funded through the Town and Village Renewal Scheme.

This is in recognition of the important role that these towns play in supporting their rural hinterlands.

“The results of this funding are already being seen in towns and villages across the country as the local authorities, together with local communities, are rethinking the use of our public spaces,” the minister said.

The projects approved will assist businesses/communities in towns and villages to adapt to the specific challenges posed by Covid-19 (e.g. social distancing) and to increase footfall and generate economic activity in the short-term.

These projects have been identified by local authorities in conjunction with local community groups and businesses.