Humphreys launches €15M fund for projects to revitalise rural towns and villages

The Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys, has 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.

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 tackling dereliction in town centres, turning vacant properties into remote working and community spaces, investing in outdoor amenities, upgrading and improving shop fronts and streetscapes on main streets and supporting projects that enhance the night time economy and add vibrancy to town centres.

The scheme is administered through local authorities, who are required to work closely with local communities and businesses to develop proposals.

“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," said Minister Humphreys on Monday.

“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.”

Full details of the scheme are available on gov.ie

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