€15 million in funding has been announced this week to help revitalise rural towns and villages post Covid-19, as part of the Town and Village Renewal Scheme.
The scheme provides funding for projects that make our towns and villages more attractive and sustainable and since the launch of the Town and Village Renewal Scheme in 2016, almost €93 million has been allocated to more than 1,300 projects across Ireland.
Designed to breathe new life into rural communities – making them more attractive places to live, work, socialise and raise a family – Monday’s announcement by Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, will see an increase to the maximum grant, from €200,000 to €500,000, so that projects of scale can be supported.
The measures that will be supported by the 2021 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; and 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.
MAKING RURAL IRELAND MORE ATTRACTIVE TO LIVE
Launching the scheme on Monday, 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.
“I also want to see local authorities engaging with local businesses and property owners on our main streets and putting forward collaborative projects to upgrade shop fronts and enhance our streetscapes.
“Support is also available for murals in our town centres, perhaps dedicated to local cultural or sporting personalities and events. This is all about adding colour and vibrancy to our towns and villages making them more attractive places to live, work in and visit.”
JULY CLOSING DATE
Under the 2021 Scheme, grant funding of 90% of the total cost of a project will be provided for any individual project. The remaining 10% match funding must be contributed by the Local Authority and/or the community.
The closing date for the submission of applications is 16th July, 2021.
Full details of the scheme are available on gov.ie