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€15 million in funding for Rural Towns and Villages

Minister Michael Ring announces €15 million in funding for Rural Towns and Villages throughout Ireland
 
Up to 200 rural towns and villages to benefit over the next 15 months


The Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring, T.D., today announced that €15 million in funding will be available for rural towns and villages across Ireland through the 2018 Town and Village Renewal Scheme.
 
Over the next 15 months up to 200 towns and villages will benefit from funding under the scheme, which will be made available through Local Authorities to support rural regeneration. The scheme is specifically targeted at rural towns and villages with populations of less than 10,000.
 
Launching the scheme, Minister Ring said: “The towns and villages of rural Ireland are the heart and soul of our rural communities and it is crucial that we revitalise these areas. I am today allocating €15 million for the 2018 Town and Village Renewal Scheme.  This funding will benefit up to 200 towns and villages right across Ireland.
 
“Today’s funding builds on the success of the Government’s Town and Village Renewal Scheme over the last two years, which has already seen over €30 million awarded to over 450 projects the length and breadth of Ireland. This year’s scheme will focus on measures which have a clear economic impact on rural towns and villages, to make them vibrant, welcoming centres for people to live and work in and meet at a social level.
 
“The scheme will again be administered through the Local Authorities, who will be required to work closely with local businesses and local communities to develop and implement ideas that can make a real and sustainable impact in revitalising rural towns and villages across the country.”
 
Minister Ring added: “The launch of the 2018 Town and Village Renewal Scheme, now in its third year, is a further demonstration of the Government’s commitment to supporting rural Ireland in a very practical way. It follows on from the 2018 CLÁR and LIS programmes which I announced recently.  I want to encourage towns and villages up and down the country to work with their Local Authorities in preparing innovative and well thought-out projects under the Town and Village Renewal Scheme and I look forward to announcing successful recipients of funding in the coming months.”
 
The Town and Village Renewal Scheme is part of the Action Plan for Rural Development which contains over 270 actions across Government to help rural Ireland achieve its full economic and social potential. The Government’s commitment to supporting rural Ireland is further underscored through the National Development Plan which will see the creation of a new Rural Regeneration and Development Fund which will be launched in the coming months by Minister Ring.

Overview

The Town and Village Renewal Scheme is an initiative under the Government’s Action Plan for Rural Development, Realising our Rural Potential, and is part of a package of national and local support measures in the Plan to rejuvenate rural towns and villages throughout Ireland.  The Scheme will be funded by the Department of Rural and Community Development and administered by the Local Authorities.  
 
Total funding of €15 million will be allocated to up to 200 towns and villages this year.  Selection of projects will be by means of a competitive process, initially at Local Authority level, with the final project selection being made by the Department of Rural and Community Development.  
 
Local Authorities will be required to advertise for expressions of interest from towns/villages in their area and will select proposals for development into detailed applications to be submitted to the Department by the end of June.  The Department will write to the Local Authorities in the coming days with full details of the Scheme.
 
The final project selection will be made in July by the Department of Rural and Community Development.  Successful projects will be expected to commence by year-end and can run throughout 2019. 

Categories of Town/Villages

Two categories of Town/Villages are eligible for support under the scheme:
 
Category 1:  Towns/villages with a population of less than 5,000 people.
 
Category 2:  Towns with a population of 5,000-10,000 people.
 
At least of 60% of the funding available will be awarded to Category 1 towns and villages.  
 
Successful proposals will demonstrate close collaboration between communities and business interests in the design and delivery of proposed projects and must have the support of the Local Authority.  

Sustainable impacts

Projects which have clear positive economic impacts on the town/village or which stimulate economic activity between a town/village and its neighbouring townlands will be particularly welcome, as will projects which demonstrate leveraging of, or linkages with, other schemes operated by Government Departments or agencies (e.g. in the areas of heritage, arts, culture, tourism, tidy towns, recreational facilities, re-use of vacant premises, vacant sites, energy efficiency schemes, etc.).  

Grant levels

Up to 80% of the total cost of a project under the Town and Village Renewal Scheme will be provided for any individual project.  The minimum grant which is available is €20,000 and the maximum is €100,000.  A higher maximum of €200,000 will be considered for a limited number of projects where a strong case can be made demonstrating exceptionally strong economic benefit to a town and/or its outlying areas.  

Content Last Updated/Reviewed: 02/05/2018