Monday, 9th April 2018
Press Statement by Hildegarde Naughton TD
Fine Gael, Galway West and South Mayo
A new funding call for the Government’s Town and Village Renewal Scheme will soon be announced, with at least €15 million allocated for projects in rural areas around the country.
The scheme was first launched in 2016, when rural rejuvenation projects in Co Galway received funding of €380,000 for biking trails, footpaths, playgrounds, landscaping, and a range of other improvements.
It was renewed last year and the amount allocated to rural projects nationally was doubled to almost €22 million.
Fine Gael TD for Galway West Hildegarde Naughton has revealed that the rural regeneration scheme will be renewed this year, with a funding pot of at least €15 million ring fenced for investment.
“The Town and Village Renewal Scheme has been a successful part of our focus on rural investment and spreading the benefits of the economic recovery to all parts of the country, which is a stated priority of the programme for government,” she said.
“I am pleased that Minister Michael Ring has confirmed that the scheme will be renewed for a third year in 2018, with funding of at least €15 million allocated by his department for this purpose.”
Last year, particular emphasis was placed on projects that would have a “sustainable and visible impact” on towns and villages, as well as projects that could demonstrate economic potential.
A total of 170 projects in rural Ireland benefitted from the scheme in 2016, while 281 projects received funding last year. Projects allocated funding in 2017 are to be delivered by local authorities over a 15-month period.
Deputy Naughton has revealed that the scheme will be continued for a third successive year, and that a minimum of €15 million is earmarked for funding additional projects across the country.
“In evaluating and approving projects for inclusion in this year’s scheme, emphasis will again be placed on potential for economic benefits for towns, villages and their surrounding areas,” said the Galway West TD.
“I am also advised that a pilot programme will also be trialled as part of the scheme, which will seek to invest in disused properties in rural towns in order to renovate them for residential use.
“This has been proposed as having a dual benefit of rejuvenating rural town centres, as well as helping to address the housing needs of families and individuals. Minister Ring has established a steering group to oversee the delivery and design of the pilot scheme,” she added.
The new funding call for the Town and Village Renewal Scheme is expected to be launched by local authorities in the coming weeks.