Con Smith Park the big winner from rural renewal scheme

Six County Cavan projects share in €1m worth of funding

Six town projects in County Cavan are set to benefit from over €1m in funding in the Town and Village Renewal Scheme.

Bailieborough, Cavan, Kilnaleck, Redhills, Swanlinbar, and Virginia all received the funding green light for their enhancement projects which came to a total of €1,021,187.34.

The county faired relatively well from the grants as only €18.5 million was announced nationwide today by Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys.

At "comprehensive upgrade" of Cavan's Con Smith Park, valued at €499,249.34, accounts for nearly half of the value of grant being awarded.

Cavan grants awarded
Cavan Town Comprehensive upgrade and enhancement of Con Smith Park, a large urban amenity in Cavan Town, Co Cavan.€499,249.34
KilnaleckTo upgrade and repurpose parts of the Realtóg Centre and the Kilnaleck Community Centre to a Remote Working and Digital Hub.€89,402
Redhills Village enhancement to include: façade painting of 25 buildings; Upgrade of seven (7) benches; Connecting services to the village green.€87,812
Virginia Streetscape enhancement through the commissioning of four (4) murals depicting culturally important subjects from the life of Virginia.€41,435
Bailieborough Streetscape enhancement to include: façade and gable wall painting and derelict shop front repairs and replacements.€213,289
SwanlinbarStreetscape enhancement to include façade painting, murals, window graphics for the front of derelict buildings, purchase of wheelchair accessible fishing pods along the river, installation of iron sculptures€90,000
Total €1,021,187.34

The funding is part of 'Our Rural Future' and places a strong emphasis on projects which tackle vacancy and dereliction by bringing landmark town centre buildings back to life.

"I am delighted to announce this latest round of funding as part of Our Rural Future.

“Many of the successful projects I am announcing today will see vacant and derelict town centre building such as old banks, garda stations and convents transformed into community, cultural and arts spaces," Minister Humphreys said.


“There is also a strong focus on remote working projects in this round of funding and I am pleased to see that a number of counties have set out ambitious marketing plans aimed at attracting remote workers to relocate.

Minister Humphreys concluded: “I have substantially increased the size of the grants available under the Town and Village Renewal Scheme this year and I am delighted to see that communities and local authorities across the country have worked together and put forward really ambitious projects which will make a lasting difference in towns and villages across the country.

“These projects will breathe new life into our towns and villages and are real life examples of the impact that Our Rural Future is having in communities across the country.

“The first progress report under Our Rural Future shows the excellent progress across Government in the first year of the policy.

“In the coming weeks, I will be announcing a further call for applications under the Town and Village Renewal Scheme and I am asking local authorities and communities to come forward with more ambitious plans for their areas.”

Deputy Brendan Smith added his compliments to Cavan and Monaghan County Councils and local community groups who put forward the successful applications: “This will benefit many local communities,” he said.

Deputy Smith continued: “Many of our towns and villages need this investment to improve and extend local facilities and amenities. This government’s commitment to rural development is clearly evident with the funding of these important projects.

“The Covid pandemic clearly demonstrated that more and more people can work outside the major urban areas. All of our rural and urban communities have considerable infrastructure in place with schools and community facilities and it's important to build on the existing strengths of these areas,” he concluded.