€15m in grants for recession-hit towns and villages

Recession-hit towns and villages will get access to millions of euro in grants to help support local projects such as hubs, employment initiatives and rural growth schemes.

€15m in grants for recession-hit towns and villages

Rural Affairs Minister Michael Ring will today announce the release of €15m in grants and funds, with proposed projects able to draw down the funds later this year.

The move comes amid claims that rural Ireland has been left behind in the recovery, with urban centres such as Dublin and Cork benefiting more than other parts of the country.

The Town and Village Renewal Scheme funds can be applied for via local authorities, with the final selections of winners made in July.

Proposed projects must have positive economic impacts on town and villages, stimulate growth or show links to other schemes in certain areas, including heritage, arts, culture, vacant premises or energy efficiency schemes.

Up to 80% of the total cost of a project under the Town and Village Renewal Scheme will be provided for any individual project. The minimum grant which is available is €20,000 and the maximum is €100,000. A higher limit of €200,000 will be considered for a limited number of projects.

Mr Ring will say today that some €30m was spent under the town and village renewal scheme over the last two years. It is expected that this new round of funding will benefit up to 200 towns and villages

Previous projects which received the funds have included the Ludgate Hub in Skibbereen which hosts more than 35 local business ventures and which received some €150,000.

The restoration of the old butter market in Granard, Co Longford, has since also become a focal point for community events, including a farmer’s market after receiving €43,000. The renovation of the old courthouse in Boyle, Co Roscommon was also supported with a €62,000 grant.

Mr Ring said: “The scheme will again be administered through the local authorities, who will be required to work closely with local businesses and local communities to develop and implement ideas that can make a real and sustainable impact in revitalising rural towns and villages across the country.”

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