Thursday, 15 July 2021
Department of Rural and Community Development
132. To ask the Minister for Rural and Community Development the status of the town and village renewal scheme following recent expressions of interest submitted to local authorities; if her Department has received funding applications from local authorities; if so, the likely timeline to approve applications; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [38558/21]
In May, I announced funding of €15 million under the 2021 Town and Village Renewal Standard Scheme. The 2021 Scheme is a key part of Our Rural Future – the Government’s five year strategy to revitalise rural Ireland. This year the scheme has a particular focus on vacancy and dereliction, and supporting efforts to bring vacant properties back into use in our towns and villages.
The Scheme is administered through Local Authorities, who following consultation with local communities and businesses, submit up to 8 applications to my Department to be assessed on a competitive basis. The minimum grant is available is €20,000. I have increased the maximum grant available this year to €500,000.
The closing date for submission of applications to my Department is tomorrow, 16 July 2021. The assessment process will commence once all of the applications have been received and registered. I expect to announce the successful projects early in Quarter 4 of this year.
The deputy may also be aware that an additional €5m has been allocated under the scheme this year for investment in digital hubs through a separate Connected Hubs fund. This fund was launched on 29th April and is now closed for applications. It 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. The applications received are currently being assessed and it is expected that this process will be completed shortly.