The Town and Village Renewal scheme was launched today (9 July 2016) by the Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs in Clones, Co. Monaghan. Speaking at the launch of €10 million investment, Ian Talbot, Chief Executive Chambers Ireland said, “We welcome the commitment by Government to invest €10 million into the regeneration of rural towns and villages with the central aim to improve the living and working environment of local communities and support their potential to increase economic activity. We anticipate that this investment will be a positive step to help revitalise rural Ireland. Ireland has a high number of towns and villages with a population less than 10,000 and many of these towns and villages across Ireland will benefit from the funding announced today.” Through the scheme, an allocation of €380,000 will be made available to Carlow and in each county up to eight separate projects under the scheme can receive a grant from the Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs from September.The type of projects funded under the scheme could include measures to:
- Increase the attractiveness of the town or village as a local commercial and social centre, and increase its sustainability as a place in which to live and work;
- Enhance its environment and amenity in the interests of residents, businesses and visitors;
- Enhance the culture and local heritage assets of the town/village and promote tourism;
- Tackle minor physical infrastructural deficits and land assembly issues.
Brian O’Farrell, CEO County Carlow Chamber welcomed the initiative saying “The towns and villages of Carlow are the heart of our communities; many have been affected by the events of the past number of years, so it is vital that investment under this scheme is managed wisely. It is important that there is consultation with locals and business owners for it to be a success. The Chamber would encourage stakeholders and local businesses to engage with the council in order to ensure that we develop projects which can deliver long term and sustainable benefits to the communities and region.”