Thursday, 17 December 2020
Department of Rural and Community Development
Town and Village Renewal Scheme
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]
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.