€2.6 million for development of Town Centre First Plans

Bailieborough in Co. Cavan and Carrickmacross in Co. Monaghan to receive €100,000 each

Two local towns are among 26 set to share funding of €2.6 million aimed at tackling dereliction and revitalising town centres.

Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys made the announcement this morning, with each local authority set to be provided with €100,000 to support the delivery of the first ever Town Centre First Plans.

Among the towns selected are Bailieborough in Co. Cavan and Carrickmacross in Co. Monaghan.

Others include Carrick-on-Shannon in Co. Leitrim, Skibbereen in Co. Cork, Roscrea in Co. Tipperary and Abbeyfeale in Co. Limerick. Clara in Co. Offaly, Clane in Co. Kildare, New Ross in Co. Wexford and Gort in Co. Galway are other examples of towns selected.

Each local authority will now work closely with local community groups, retailers and the other members of the Town Teams in devising and delivering on the objectives of their respective masterplans.

This initiative is a key part of Our Rural Future – the Government’s ambitious five year strategy designed to reimagine and revitalise Rural Ireland.

It is also linked to the Government’s ‘Housing for All’ strategy and the forthcoming ‘Town Centre First Policy’, which will be announced in the coming weeks.

Announcing the details of the 26 towns, Minister Humphreys said: “I am really pleased to announce the first ever Town Centre First Plans as part of a €2.6 million investment for Rural Ireland. Each local authority has put forward one of their towns which will receive €100,000 from my Department to develop its own unique master plan.

“This is about delivering on the objectives of ‘Our Rural Future’ and ensuring our towns have the right plan in place to tackle the issues of dereliction, vacant properties, and above all, to become better places to live, work and run a business.

“The development of these 26 Plans will feed into the Government’s overall Town Centre First Policy, which will be launched in the coming weeks.”

The Town Centre First Plans will be guided by a strong empirical base and developed collaboratively with local Town Teams involving community, business, as well as public private stakeholders.

It is envisaged that the Plans will cover the importance of “place-making”, town centre living, the social and economic purpose of the town, and respond to emerging opportunities such as those linked to remote working, climate action and digitalisation.

The Plans will also be central to addressing vacancy and dereliction in these locations.