Latest Laois News: Funding announced to revitalise rural towns & villages
Minister Humphreys announces €15 million fund to revitalise rural towns & villages
The Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, has today (Monday, May 3rd) announced €15 million in funding to help revitalise rural towns and villages post Covid-19.
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.
Funding available to turn vacant buildings in town centres into remote working hubs, enterprise spaces, cultural, tourism and community hubs
The initiative is 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:
Ø Tackling dereliction in town centres
Ø Turning vacant properties into remote working and community spaces
Ø Supporting Local Authorities to run innovative marketing campaigns targeted at attracting remote workers to their county.
Marketing Campaigns to attract remote workers to rural Ireland
Ø Investing in green spaces, parks and recreational amenities
Ø Upgrading and improving shop fronts & streetscapes on Main Streets
Ø 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.
Scheme encourages Collaborative Projects to upgrade shop fronts and inject street facades with colour and vibrancy
Launching the Scheme today, 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.
Investment in green spaces in town centres
“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.
Grants from €20,000 to €500,000 available
“Most importantly, I want to seize the momentum around remote working and for that reason, I am supporting 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.“
Minister Pippa Hackett had this to say about the announcement:
“The €15 million in funding announced today empowers local authorities to carry out projects in their area. They know best what the local communities and the local economy require. The increase in the grant from a maximum of €200,000 to a maximum of €500,000 enables them to be more ambitious. I have every confidence in Laois County Council to make applications and I’d encourage local groups and organisations to put ideas forward.”
Full details of the scheme are available on gov.ie