- Largest ever investment under Town and Village Renewal Scheme
- Former ballrooms, schoolhouses, community halls, public houses and fire stations to be regenerated for community use
- Public plazas, town parks, playgrounds, community gardens, sporting facilities and skate parks to be developed
- Local shops and businesses in 4 towns to have their shopfronts and building facades enhanced under Streetscapes Enhancement Initiative
The Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys, has today (14 December) announced over €27 million in funding that will combat dereliction and breathe new life into rural towns and villages across Ireland, with over €3.2 million of the fund being allocated to projects in the Midlands region.
The announcement represents the largest ever investment under the Town and Village Renewal Scheme and will see a range of landmark projects delivered across the region.
Among the 20 projects in the Midlands to have received funding in the announcement today, key projects include:
- Longford Town, Co. Longford: The development of a ‘Skate and Recreational Park’ within Longford Town along proposed future town cycleway and within immediate vicinity to the existing Royal Canal Greenway – €405,000
- Moate, Co. Westmeath: Bringing the old Fire Station in the town centre, which has laid vacant for many years, back into use as a multi-purpose space for community use by the Moate Action Group – €112,500
- Ballinakill, Co. Laois: The development of Ballinakill Amenity Park and outdoor swimming pool to include provision of a MUGA including floodlights, pool upgrade through lining and waterproofing and accessible parking with a drop zone to accommodate increased visitor numbers. €250,000
- Birr, Co. Offaly: The development of a plaza at Market Square in Birr to create an outdoor meeting and recreational space in the town centre that can facilitate outdoor dining and where pedestrian activity will be a priority. €250,000
The major package announced today comprises 4 Strands, the Town and Village Renewal Scheme, a scheme for the purchase and redevelopment of vacant buildings, the streetscape enhancement measure, and an early funding development scheme.
Announcing the funding today, Minister Humphreys said:
“I am delighted to announce a record €27 million in funding under my department’s Town and Village Renewal Scheme. This is all about tackling the scourge of vacancy and dereliction in our rural towns and villages. It’s about taking old buildings and giving them a new lease of life. And it’s about rejuvenating the centre of our towns by developing public plazas, town parks, community gardens and sports facilities for the benefit of local families. This investment today will breathe new life into rural towns and villages across every single county. It’s the largest ever investment under the Town and Village Renewal Scheme and demonstrates my passion and ambition for our rural communities.”
Minister Humphreys also today announced 3 projects that will benefit from funding under the Building Acquisition Measure (BAM) of the Town and Village Renewal Scheme. Under the initiative, local authorities were asked by the department to engage with the local community to identify suitable vacant or derelict properties that could be taken into public ownership and converted for community use.
The green light was also given today for works to take place in 4 Midlands towns under the Streetscape Enhancement Initiative. This scheme will see funding of up to €100,000 provided to one town per local authority. Under the initiative, retailers and property owners will be provided with grants that they can use to improve the facades of their buildings, carry out artwork or install features such as street furniture or canopies.
Full details of the Midlands projects funded under today’s series of announcements:
- Ballinakill: The development of Ballinakill Amenity Park and outdoor swimming pool to include provision of a MUGA including floodlights, pool upgrade through lining and waterproofing and accessible parking with a drop zone to accommodate increased visitor numbers. €250,000
- Mountmellick: The project will enhance car parking at Mountmellick Community Arts Centre to include resurfacing of accessible parking facilities, in addition to the installation of smart benches and bike stands. €67,500
- Portarlington: The project will implement actions identified in the Portarlington landscape masterplan. This will include a central plaza/event space, playground upgrade and the upgrading of park. €500,000
- Abbeyleix: Funding under the Streetscape Enhancement Measure in Abbeyleix. €100,000
- Ballyroan: Feasibility study to determine the potential future uses of the vacant/derelict former old boys school in Ballyroan village. €50,000
- Longford Town: The development of ‘Skate & Recreational Park’ within Longford Town along proposed future town cycleway and within immediate vicinity to the existing Royal Canal Greenway. €405,000
- Granard: Funding under the Streetscape Enhancement Measure in Granard. €100,000
- Edgeworthstown: Purchase of a former Public House to be converted into a multi-purpose community space.
- Birr: The development of a plaza at Market Square in Birr to create an outdoor meeting and recreational space in the town centre that can facilitate outdoor dining and where pedestrian activity will be a priority. €250,000
- Kilcormac: Refurbishment of Fiesta Hall in Kilcormac which is currently vacant into a multi-purpose space which is low carbon and energy efficient. €500,000
- Shinrone: Refurbishment and repurposing of the old Shinrone Library building that has been vacant for 13 years, into a modern multi-purpose community space. €250,000
- Clara: Funding under the Streetscape Enhancement Measure in Clara. €100,000
- Daingean: Detailed design proposal, costings and planning for restoration and refurbishment works/alterations to the Daingean town hall to create a modern multi-functional space/hub for community use. €50,000
- Moneygall: Architect led design team to deliver a detailed design proposal and planning permission for refurbishment of a derelict property into a multi-purpose community space/hub. €50,000
- Ballyboy: Purchase of the former Community Hall for use as a multi-purpose community space.
- Moneygall: Purchase of the former family-run business with a garage to be converted into a multi-purpose community and enterprise hub.
- Milltownpass: The development of a green space in Milltownpass which provides a focal point for the community to come together and streetscape enhancements that will revitalise the public realm of the village. €100,800
- Moate: Bringing the old Fire Station, town centre building, which has lain vacant for many years, back into use as a multi-purpose space for community use by the Moate Action Group. €112,500
- The Downs: To develop and maintain a sustainable playground and associated seating area combined with an outdoor gym to support integration and play for all children within the community. €224,708
- Kilbeggan: Funding under the Streetscape Enhancement Measure in Kilbeggan. €100,000