Thursday, 15 July 2021
Department of Rural and Community Development
503. To ask the Minister for Rural and Community Development the extent to which she can foresee further development and expansion of the town and village renewal scheme with a view to maximisation of beneficial impact; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [38981/21]
The Town & Village Renewal Scheme is designed to assist with the rejuvenation of rural towns and villages throughout Ireland, making them more attractive places to live, work, and socialise.
Under the Scheme, funding of over €93 million has been approved for the delivery of over 1,340 projects in towns and villages countrywide. The Scheme continues to evolve as could be seen with the introduction of an accelerated measure under the scheme last year to quickly assist towns respond to the challenges presented by the pandemic.
This year, in line with Our Rural Future, a key focus of the scheme is to renovate derelict and vacant buildings in our town centres to bring them back into use as multipurpose spaces, remote working hubs or as residential accommodation. I have increased the maximum grant available under the Scheme this year to €500,000 to permit projects of additional scale to be funded.
I also allocated an additional €5m for investment in digital hubs under the scheme as part of a Connected Hubs fund. This will support the development of Ireland’s first national network of remote working hubs and fund small scale capital works in existing hubs and Broadband Connection Points.
I am confident that the scheme will continue to develop and expand in the coming years in response to evolving needs.