Minister Humphreys opens the Castleblayney Library Project

Rural Regeneration and Development Fund has redeveloped the historic Gate Hope Castle Lodge.

Money from the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund has redeveloped the historic Gate Hope Castle Lodge in Castleblayney as a new state-of-the-art library facilty for the community.

The landmark investment €3.4 million also allowed for the development of a cultural and creative space.

Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, ( Friday 10th November) visited Castleblayney, to officially open the new Castleblayney Library which was funded through the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund (RRDF).

This transformative project for the town restored what was the derelict Hope Castle Gate Lodge. Alongside the RRDF funding an additional investment of €1.38 million was provided by Monaghan County Council.

Speaking at the opening, Minister Humphreys said: "I am delighted to officially open the Castleblayney Library project. With the support of over €3.49 million from my Department’s Rural Regeneration and Development Fund this project has brought an important heritage building in the town back to life to provide a modern new library, cultural and creative space.

“This new, accessible public space, will bring increased vibrancy and activity in the town centre and will have significant social and economic benefits for the wider region.”

Castleblayney has received a significant level of investment from the RRDF. In June of this year Minister Humphreys officially opened the Ridge Business, Enterprise and Technology Centre that was delivered with €3.4 million in RRDF funding.

The Minister continued: “Today I am also announcing the opening of the Fifth call for Category 1 applications under the RRDF. These are significant capital projects which have planning in place and are ‘shovel ready’.

“The funding call represents an unprecedented opportunity for rural areas and I am looking forward to receiving ambitious projects of scale.

“Castleblayney is a wonderful example of the potential of the RRDF to deliver landmark projects that can be game-changers for rural communities.”

Project proposals under the RRDF should directly deliver on the objectives of Our Rural Future and the Town Centre First Policy, in particular, those that help to revitalise our rural towns and villages, driving greater footfall and addressing vacancy and dereliction, as well as projects that will assist in attracting people back to live in rural areas and support economic development.

RRDF project proposals should be large in scale and highly ambitious in nature, with a minimum funding request of €500,000.

Applications to the Fund must be led by a State-funded body - Local Authorities, Local Development Companies, State agencies, commercial State bodies etc. - but collaboration between parties, including with local communities, is strongly encouraged.

The closing date for the receipt of proposals is 12pm on 8 February 2024.