For 2019, the Town and Village Renewal Scheme will support projects which enhance the town or village centre environment. Building on the pilot scheme launched by Minister Ring in October 2018, it will also place a focus on initiatives which encourage increased residential occupancy in town centres.
The Town and Village Renewal Scheme is a key initiative under the Action Plan for Rural Development and is part of a range of measures to support the revitalisation of rural Ireland under the Government’s Project Ireland 2040 Rural Regeneration Programme.
Full details of the scheme will be issued to the Local Authorities in the coming days.
Local Authorities will be required to advertise for expressions of interest from towns/villages in their area and can select up to 12 proposals for development into detailed applications to be submitted to the Department by the end of June. Selection of projects will be by means of a competitive process, with the final project selection being made by the Department of Rural and Community Development.
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.
Projects which have clear positive impacts on a town or village in terms of place-making and town centre regeneration, or which stimulate economic activity between a town/village and its neighbouring townlands will be particularly welcome, as will proposals seeking to develop initiatives to encourage town centre living.
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, re-use of vacant premises, vacant sites, energy efficiency schemes, etc.) will also be encouraged.
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 benefit to a town and/or its outlying areas.
Rural Regeneration and Development Fund
The Rural Regeneration and Development Fund supports larger scale projects, with a minimum grant allocation of €500,000. Minister Ring launched the second call for proposals under the Government’s Rural Regeneration and Development Fund on 12 April. This call for proposals will focus on capital regeneration projects which are ready to commence.
Full details of the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund, along with the Application Form, are available on the Department of Rural and Community Development website, at https://drcd.gov.ie/about/rural/rural-regeneration-development-fund/.