Written answers

Thursday, 17 December 2020

Department of Rural and Community Development

Town and Village Renewal Scheme

Alan Dillon (Mayo, Fine Gael)
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48. To ask the Minister for Rural and Community Development when she expects to announce successful applications under the town and village renewal scheme; her views on the scheme; and her plans for the future of the scheme. [44118/20]

Photo of Heather HumphreysHeather Humphreys (Cavan-Monaghan, Fine Gael)
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The regeneration and revitalisation of our rural towns and villages is a key priority for my Department. Since 2016, my Department has invested €78 million in approximately 1,200 projects under the Town and Village Renewal Scheme.

The scheme was adapted this year to assist towns and villages to respond to the impact of COVID-19. The scheme, which had a budget of €25 million this year including €10 million as part of the Government’s July Stimulus Package, includes two separate funding Measures - an Accelerated Measure and a Standard Measure.

The Accelerated Measure was designed to support smaller scale projects that could be delivered immediately to assist towns and villages in adapting to the challenges presented by COVID-19, and to allow people to shop and socialise in a safe manner. I approved a total of €10.4 million for 363 project across under this Measure.

The Standard Measure is designed to help rural towns and villages to recover from the impact of COVID-19 in the medium-term. €15 million is available for the Standard Measure, and applications are currently being assessed by my Department officials. I expect to announce the successful projects under this Measure shortly.

Under Budget 2021, €20 million has been allocated to support an expanded Town and Village Renewal Scheme next year. €5 million of this funding will be used to support the development of remote working facilities throughout the country, including by upgrading existing hubs and Broadband Connection Points.

I also secured a further €2 million for 2021 which will be used to support the development of masterplans as a basis for the strategic development of rural towns and villages. Details of this initiative will be announced in early 2021.

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