New €4.5 Million Investment Announced in Rural Towns & Villages

Posted on 15 Jan 2024
Minister Heather Humphreys TD Announcing New Funding under the Town and Village Renewal Scheme’s Building Acquisition Measure

The Department of Rural and Community Development have today announced a new funding package of over €4.5 million to tackle dereliction and vacancy in rural Ireland, as part of the Town and Village Renewal Scheme (TVRS). This 2023 scheme supports the revitalisation of rural Ireland through renewed focus on the regeneration and restoration of economic and social vibrancy in town centres. This includes tackling vacancy and dereliction in towns and villages.

The scheme is administered through the local authorities, who are required to work closely with local communities and local businesses to develop and implement proposals that can make a lasting impact. This newest investment will help to renew and repurpose 24 derelict buildings for community use. Former Garda stations, schools, post offices, parish halls, restaurants, public houses and vacant sites.

This is now the second year of investment under the Town and Village Renewal Scheme’s Building Acquisition Measure, designed to bring vacant and derelict properties back into use.

Funding has been allocated directly to local authorities to enable them to purchase and re-develop these properties for a range of community purposes. The 2023 Building Acquisition Measure provided up to €500,000 to each local authority to purchase vacant and derelict buildings for future development as community assets. Each local authority was invited to apply to purchase up to three such buildings within the €500,000 available.

Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphrey’s TD, expressed her delight with the announcement:

“This initiative is all about giving our local communities the tools to address the challenges of vacancy and dereliction in their towns and villages. Through this funding, we are taking those run-down buildings and turning them into facilities that will benefit communities for generations to come. By doing so, we will help to drive footfall into our town centres, increase tourism and, above all, make our rural towns and villages even better places to live, work, invest, visit and raise a family. This scheme is underpinned by ‘Our Rural Future’ – our five year rural development policy, which has changed Rural Ireland for the better.I am very pleased with the range of buildings which we have been able to support under this initiative, and I look forward to these buildings being developed for community use in the coming months.” 

The Minister concluded, “The announcement today shows the real impact that ‘Our Rural Future’ is having across the country. We’ve never experienced more exciting things happening in Rural Ireland than we are today. We will continue to work with local communities to ensure that our rural towns and villages continue to be vibrant places to live and work, with people of all ages – young and old – seeing and realising the benefits.”

Among the 24 projects funded under the Building Acquisition Measure are:

  • Ballyroan, Co. Laois: A former national school to be used as a multi-purpose community venue
  • Bellacorrick, Co. Mayo: A former garda barracks for use as a multi-purpose community hub, community gym and remote working hub
  • Enfield, Co. Meath: A former parish hall for use as a multipurpose community space
  • St Margaret’s, Fingal: A former Parochial Hall, Parochial House and Coach House to be converted into multi-purpose community space
  • Villierstown, Co. Waterford: A site with derelict buildings - to regenerate the derelict buildings into a modern permanent structure including a boathouse, camping site, additional parking facilities, multi-purpose community space
  • Belturbet, Co. Cavan: A former bakery for conversion into a multi-purpose community facility
  • Gorey, Co. Wexford: A former Credit Union being developed for 21st century use
  • Leitrim Village, Co. Leitrim: ​Purchase of a two storey semi-detached house to create a Blueway Hub
  • Tipperary Town, Co. Tipperary: Redevelopment of a three-storey former public house and fast foot outlet to convert into a multi-purpose community space.

 The complete list of successful projects is available to view here