Latest Laois News: €1m for Portarlington Market House Refurbishment

Latest Laois News: €1m for Portarlington Market House Refurbishment

Our Rural Future: Minister Humphreys announces 24 landmark rural regeneration projects nationwide

  • Old Cinemas, Courthouses, Hotels, Convents, and Market Houses to be transformed into remote working hubs, libraries, e-learning, cultural, enterprise and community spaces
  • Development of pedestrian zones, green areas and outdoor public spaces to breathe new life into town centres
  • Focus on combatting dereliction, increasing the vibrancy of towns and regenerating iconic town centre buildings with new purpose

The Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, has today announced €75million for 24 landmark regeneration projects in rural communities across the country.

€1m for Portarlington’s Market House Refurbishment. 📷 John O’ Reilly

The funding, which is being provided under the €1Billion Rural Regeneration and Development Fund will support the key objectives of Our Rural Future – the Government’s ambitious new policy for Rural Ireland.

Local Councillor Aidan Mullins had this to say when hearing the news:

After years of pushing for the upgrade of Portarlington I’m glad to report that €1.2 million has been approved for the upgrade of the Market House in The Square. This is the catalyst for the Regeneration of the entire town and the Downey Report will be made public very soon.Portarlington Tidy Towns Committee put in a lot of hard work on the upgrade of the town for the past number of years. Credit also to Director of Services in Laois County Council, Gerry Murphy, and his staff who stepped up to the plate on this funding application. With the ongoing footpath replacement project along Main Street and the undergrounding of the overhead lines, the streetscape will see a massive improvement.

Minister Pippa Hackett welcomed the news as follows:

“This funding of €1m to refurbish the Market House in Portarlington goes to the heart of revitalising our town centres. The Market House will now become a community meeting space, with event and exhibition potential. It will be a wonderful focus for the residents of Portarlington, drawing them into the town. No doubt, it will also be the starting point for further regeneration and redevelopment.”

A large number of the successful projects provide for the regeneration of vacant town centre buildings as remote working and hot-desking facilities. These projects will support remote workers and commuters to work from and remain in their own local community.

Announcing the funding today, Minister Humphreys said:

Just three weeks ago, the Government launched Our Rural Future, the most ambitious and transformational policy for rural development in decades.

€1m for Portarlington’s Market House Refurbishment. 📷 John O’ Reilly

“Today we are putting that policy firmly into action and delivering major investment aimed at town centre regeneration and supporting remote working.

“These projects will breathe new life into towns and villages across the country making them attractive and vibrant places for people to live, work, socialise and raise a family.”

Minister Humphreys continued:

These projects will not only enable people to live and work in their community but they will also see iconic town centre buildings given a new lease of life and increase football for local businesses.

“A large number of these projects also include significant public realm works such as developing new pedestrian areas in town centres, creating new green areas and developing new outdoor public spaces for community and cultural events – these projects will help to make our towns attractive, lived in and vibrant places.

“Today you are seeing Our Rural Future in action – and this is only the beginning. In the coming weeks, I will be inviting new applications under the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund and bringing forward an enhanced Town and Village Renewal Scheme which will provide rural communities with more opportunities to make exciting and impactful projects like these a reality.”

A full list of the projects funded is available on