Thursday, 17 December 2020
Department of Rural and Community Development
Town and Village Renewal Scheme
70. To ask the Minister for Rural and Community Development further to Parliamentary Question No. 13 of 5 November 2020, the way in which the additional €2 million in funding for the development of master plans for up to 50 towns will be administered; the criteria for a town to be chosen as one of the 50 towns that will develop master plans; when the decision will be made as to the towns which are included on the list of 50 towns; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [43331/20]
The Programme for Government includes a commitment for an expanded Town and Village Renewal Scheme to bring vacant and derelict buildings back into use and promote residential occupancy.
This follows on from the pilot initiative developed by my Department to explore how to encourage increased residential occupancy in rural towns and villages. An independent report on the pilot initiative highlighted the value of developing a shared vision, or masterplan, for individual towns as part of the process to counteract vacancy and dereliction, and to make these town centres more attractive places in which to live.
I have secured an additional €2 million for 2021 as part of the expanded Town and Village Renewal Scheme next year. This funding will be used to support the preparation of masterplans to guide the strategic development of rural towns and villages.
I anticipate that individual masterplans will include actions tailored to address the vacancy and town centre living issues specific to the town in question. The initiative will be progressed in 2021 and further details, including the basis for the inclusion of towns in the process, will be announced at that time.