€15m fund for rural towns and villages

€15m fund for rural towns and villages


Mayor of Clare Cllr Mary Howard – Photo: Eamon Ward

The Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council, Cllr Mary Howard, has welcomed the announcement of €15 million in funding under the Town and Village Renewal Scheme 2021 by the Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, “at a time when the county’s towns and villages need to increase footfall and adapt post-Covid-19”.

Cllr Howard encouraged community groups across County Clare to apply for funding under this year’s scheme, noting that “towns and villages in Clare are at the heart of our economic and social activity and will play a pivotal role once again in providing safe spaces for people to meet and do business in a post-Covid world”.

The measures that will be supported by the Town and Village Renewal Scheme 2021 include:

– Tackling dereliction in town centres

– Turning vacant properties into remote working and community spaces

– Supporting local authorities to run innovative marketing campaigns targeted at attracting remote workers to their county

– Investing in green spaces, parks and recreational amenities

– Upgrading and improving shop fronts and streetscapes on main streets

– Projects that support and enhance the night-time economy and add vibrancy to town centres.

The Town and Village Renewal Scheme is administered through the local authorities, which are required to work closely with local communities and local businesses to develop and implement proposals. Grants of €20,000 to €500,000 are available under the scheme.

Pat Dowling, Chief Executive of Clare County Council, welcomed the scheme, saying that it “is designed to breathe new life into rural communities, making them more attractive places to live, work, socialise and raise a family”.

Leonard Cleary, Director of Rural Development, Clare County Council, said that “the scheme represents an opportunity to seize the momentum around remote working and showcase the county’s towns and villages so that they are attractive places for remote workers to live and work”.

Community groups that have identified projects with all the necessary permissions in place are being invited to submit an Expression of Interest to Clare County Council. Expressions of Interest received will be assessed based on the priorities as contained in the Scheme Outline.

A total of eight proposals can then be put forward for submission to the Department of Rural and Community Development. Selection of projects under the scheme will be by means of a competitive process so Expressions of Interest should include sufficient detail to enable them to be considered for an application for funding to the Department.

More details on the scheme and an Expression of Interest form can be downloaded from Clare County Council’s website.