Thursday, 5 December 2019
Department of Rural and Community Development
Town and Village Renewal Scheme
359. To ask the Minister for Rural and Community Development when he plans to make a further call for applications for funding under the town and village renewal scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [50692/19]
The 2019 Town and Village Renewal Scheme was launched in April of this year. There was a strong level of interest in the scheme and on 31st of October I announced details of 156 projects that have been approved for funding of €15 million.
I intend to launch a further call for proposals under the Town and Village Renewal Scheme in the new year. Details of the application process and the closing dates for receipt of applications will be announced when the scheme is launched.
A pilot scheme to encourage increased residential occupancy in rural towns and villages was launched in October 2018. The six towns participating in the pilot are:
- Boyle, Co Roscommon; Callan, Co Kilkenny; Ballinrobe, Co Mayo; Banagher, Co Offaly; Castleblayney, Co Monaghan; and Cappoquin, Co Waterford.
Funding of up to €100,000 is being made available to each of these towns to assist in developing innovative proposals to encourage town centre living.
It is intended that the lessons learned through this pilot can help to inform the approach to supporting and investing in rural towns and villages in the future. It is also envisaged that the pilot could lead to the development of more substantive proposals for funding from the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund.
Representatives from each of the participating towns have met collectively on a regular basis to discuss the issues that are emerging from their work on the scheme. This included a workshop hosted by my Department in September of this year which also involved other relevant experts in this area.
Officials from my Department and the relevant Local Authorities also discussed progress under the scheme with the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Rural and Community Development at its meeting on 13th November last.
A comprehensive report on the issues identified through the pilot, and suggested courses of action, is currently being produced for my Department. I expect to receive a draft of that report later this month.