€164 million in funding for 30 regeneration projects in rural towns and villages announced

The Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, has today (Monday, 29 April, 2024) announced funding of over €20 million to benefit rural towns and villages the length and breadth of the country.
  • Largest allocation to date under the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund.
  • Transformative projects will revitalise town centres, stimulate the rural economy and attract people back to live, work and visit rural areas
  • Focus on combatting vacancy and dereliction and regenerating iconic town centre buildings with new purpose
  • Projects supported across the country, including, Edenderry, Ballyhaunis, Cresslough, Cahersiveen and Enniscrone

The Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, has today (Monday, 13th April 2024) announced record funding of €164 million for 30 landmark regeneration projects across the country.

The investment is being provided under the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund (RRDF) with a particular emphasis on the revitalisation of rural town centres, which is a key objective of the Our Rural Future and Town Centre First Policies.

Announcing the funding at Loophead Lighthouse in Clare, Minister Humphreys said:

“Today I am announcing an unprecedented €164 million in funding for 30 landmark projects in rural Ireland. This announcement has been made possible by the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund, which is providing strategic capital funding for significant projects around the country. The funding announced today will revitalise towns and villages in line with the Town Centre First Policy, addressing vacancy and dereliction, stimulating rural economies and responding to community needs”.

Examples of some of the successful projects announced today include:

Edenderry, Co Offaly (€12.2 million): Redevelopment of a derelict site to provide a new Community Library and Arts Base and regenerate the centre of the town.

Ballyhaunis, Co Mayo (€5.2 million): Redevelopment of a derelict convent primary school building and grounds to provide a public library, enterprise hub and public park.

Limerick Greenway Hubs Development Project, Co Limerick (€9.6 million): Redevelopment of former stations houses along the Limerick Greenway route to create mini destinations, trailheads and service hubs.

Cresslough, Co Donegal (€12.1 million): Will create a new central hub that will be transformative for the community.

Cahersiveen, Co Kerry (€6.4 million): Regeneration of the town centre including the renovation of an historic building as a community facility and development of a waterfront amenity and boardwalk.

Enniscrone, Co Sligo (€8.4 million): Regeneration of key seafront areas including the redevelopment of the historic Cliff Bath House, upgrading of the Cliff Walk and redevelopment of a derelict building to provide a new community pavilion.

Baile Bhúirne, Co Cork (€3.2 million): Redevelopment of a former residential school to provide a Regional Development Centre – an enterprise development, training and research facility.

Tuam, Co Galway (€3.6 million): Redevelopment of the historic Tuam Town Hall as a multi-purpose community facility.

The Minister added:

“Today, I have announced the largest allocation of funding since the RRDF was established. The RRDF alone has now invested over €577 million in funding for projects in rural Ireland. This is a truly transformative level of funding that will make a real and lasting difference in rural communities throughout Ireland.”

Today’s announcement relates to the Fifth Call for Category 1 applications, which provides funding for large scale capital projects which have planning in place and are ready to proceed.

The application process is competitive, and applications were subjected to a comprehensive assessment process by the Department with oversight provided by an independent Project Advisory Board, made up of representatives drawn from key Government Departments along with external independent experts

Details of the successful projects can be found here .

Our Rural Future

Our Rural Future is the whole-of-government policy for rural Ireland for the period 2021-2025. It offers a blueprint for a thriving and inclusive rural Ireland and adopts a more strategic, ambitious and holistic approach to investing in and maximising opportunities for rural areas.

Town Centre First

The Town Centre First policy contains 33 unique actions which will give our towns the tools and resources they need to become more viable and attractive places in which to live, work, visit and run a business. The policy also contains a range of actions designed to achieve key objectives such as social and economic revival in towns, the provision of housing, as well as addressing challenges like vacancy and derelict buildings. The RRDF is strategically aligned to the Town Centre First policy, and supports the realisation of Town Centre First plans on a local level. The actions also support the protection of our environment, as well as the heritage and culture of our towns.

Rural Regeneration and Development Fund

The Rural Regeneration and Development Fund (RRDF) provides funding for the development and construction of capital projects in towns and villages and rural areas across Ireland.

The RRDF supports projects that have the potential to revitalise rural towns and villages in line with the Town Centre First Policy through planned and sustainable regeneration that will drive greater economic activity and footfall, address vacancy and dereliction and ensure the reuse of heritage and other existing buildings and provide the necessary facilities and infrastructure in settlements, which will assist in attracting people to live, work and invest in rural areas.

Calls for applications to the Fund are sought under two categories – Category 1 and Category 2. Category 1 (Major Projects) relates to large scale ambitious capital projects with all necessary planning and other consents in place and which are ready to proceed. Category 2 provides smaller grant funding to enable the development of project proposals suitable for future calls for Category 1 applications. The successful projects announced today relate to Category 1.

The fifth call for applications was announced in November 2023, with a focus on revitalising our rural towns and villages through planned and sustainable regeneration in line with the Town Centre First Policy, that will drive greater economic activity and footfall, address vacancy and dereliction and ensure the re-use of heritage and other existing buildings. The call closed on the 8th February 2024. The Department of Rural and Community Development received 60 applications to this call, seeking funding of over €333 million.

Following the announcement, RRDF funding of €577 million has been allocated to 245 projects worth €768 million.

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