Cork County Council is seeking Expressions of Interest from countywide community, business, and development groups for the Town and Village Renewal Scheme 2022, aimed at rural regeneration.

Recently announced by Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys, this year’s scheme will place particular emphasis on projects which support bringing vacant or derelict buildings and sites back into use as multi-purpose community spaces.

The types of projects that may be considered include:

  • Repurposing of vacant properties in town centres back into use as Remote Working Hubs;
  • Regeneration projects that assist in revitalising rural towns and villages through planned and sustainable regeneration and development projects;
  • Projects to develop parks/plazas, green spaces and recreational spaces/amenities located in town centres.

Encouraging submissions from the community, Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr. Gillian Coughlan said:

“It is vital that we continue to focus efforts into the regeneration of our rural towns and villages so that they are even more attractive places for people to live and work.

“Spaces where we can come together to learn, exercise, enjoy the arts or to simply share a story are an integral part of every community.

“I would encourage any interested groups that have an idea for repurposing a vacant site or building for the good of their community to please consider putting forward your ideas,” she added.

Rural regeneration

Welcoming the announcement, chief executive of Cork County Council, Tim Lucey said:

“Cork County Council has seen many successful projects developed under the Town and Village Renewal Scheme.

“This year’s focus on the revival of vacant and derelict properties will further contribute to our continued activity in the regeneration of town and village centres across the county, while supporting ‘Our Rural Future’, the government’s programme for rural development.

“We welcome submissions from the community for potential projects that will address the issues of vacancy and encourage the revitalisation of our town and village thoroughfares.”

The Expression of Interest form should be emailed to: [email protected] or returned to the relevant Municipal District Office no later than 4:00p.m on July 1, 2022.

The Town and Village Renewal Scheme is an initiative under the Action Plan for Rural Development.

It is part of a range of measures to support the revitalisation of rural Ireland under the government’s Project Ireland 2040 – Our Rural Future – Ireland’s Rural Development Policy 2021-2025.