Written answers

Thursday, 17 December 2020

Department of Rural and Community Development

Town and Village Renewal Scheme

James O'Connor (Cork East, Fianna Fail)
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53. To ask the Minister for Rural and Community Development her plans to bring forward an enhanced town and village renewal scheme; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [43975/20]

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 Programme for Government includes a commitment to bring forward an expanded Town and Village Renewal Scheme to bring vacant and derelict buildings back into use and to promote residential occupancy. In this context, a budget of €20 million has been allocated for an expanded Town and Village Renewal Scheme next year - an increase of €5 million, or 33%, on 2020.

€15 million of this funding will be allocated to the standard Town and Village Renewal Scheme to support the economic and social development of our towns and villages, including through measures to encourage town centre living.

€5 million will be used to support the development of remote working facilities at digital hubs and Broadband Connection Points. These facilities can play an important role in supporting the revitalisation of town centres and stimulating local commerce.

In addition for next year, I have secured funding of €2 million to enable rural towns and villages to prepare masterplans as a basis for their strategic development. I believe the development of a shared vision and direction for any town is an essential ingredient for its successful long-term future.

Full details of these initiative will be announced when the Town and Village Renewal Scheme is launched in 2021.

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