Old cinemas, courthouses, and hotels to be converted into remote working hubs in 24 towns

€74m rural regeneration project will repurpose derelict buildings in town centres across the country
Old cinemas, courthouses, and hotels to be converted into remote working hubs in 24 towns

A total of €4m has been allocated to renovate a derelict building on Youghal's main street into a library, remote learning hub, and community space.

Youghal in Co Cork is among 24 towns chosen as part of a scheme to convert old cinemas, courthouses, hotels and convents into remote working hubs.

The new €74m rural regeneration project today which will repurpose derelict buildings in town centres will be announced by Minister for Rural and Community Development Heather Humphreys today.

Pedestrian zones, green areas, and outdoor events spaces will also be developed as part of a wider €1bn Rural Regeneration and Development Fund.

A total of €4m has been allocated to renovate a derelict building on Youghal's main street into a library, remote learning hub, and community space.

A 19th Century vacant agriculture building and car park will be transformed into a Market Quarter, in Thurles, Co Tipperary.

Funding of €2.8m has been provided for the development which will include a designated market space, a multi-functional events space and a student's union and café.

A €2m grant will develop a remote working hub on Iveragh Peninsula, Co Kerry, to provide workspace for up to 50 people.

Speaking ahead of today's announcement, Ms Humphreys said: "Remote working is a gamechanger. This is a concept that we will make a reality and it is among my biggest priorities as minister."

Through announcements like this, we are sending a clear message that we want people to come and live in rural Ireland.

“We want to breathe new life into towns and villages across the country — making them even better places for people to live, work, socialise and raise a family," she said.

Other selected projects include an €8.6m restoration of the old Ritz Cinema in Ballybofey-Stranolar, Co Donegal, into an enterprise and remote working hub.

Three historic town centre buildings in Ballymahon, Co Longford, will be converted into a co-working space, youth hub, and community centre with €6m in funding provided

Meanwhile, €2.55m has been allocated to the Portumna Courthouse Arts Centre, Co Galway. 

After being vacant for two decades, the courthouse will be the site of a new multi-purpose arts, performance, remote working, and social space, with the courtyard becoming an outdoor social space.

An old school in the centre of Kinnegad, Co Westmeath, will receive €7.6m in funding to convert it into a community library, remote learning, education, and training space.

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