Our Rural Future: Minister Humphreys announces over €27 million to combat dereliction and breathe new life into rural towns and villages

Media release

Wednesday, 14th December 2022


  • Largest ever investment under Town and Village Renewal Scheme
  • Former Banks, Ballrooms, Courthouses, Convents, Cinemas, Garda Stations and FCA Halls to be regenerated for community use
  • Public Plazas, Town Parks, Playgrounds, Community Gardens and Dog Parks to be developed
  • Local Shops and Businesses in 26 towns to have their shopfronts and building facades enhanced under Streetscapes Enhancement Initiative


The Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, has today (14th December 2022) announced over €27 million in funding that will combat dereliction and breathe new life into rural towns and villages.


The announcement represents the largest ever investment under the Town and Village Renewal Scheme and will see a range of landmark projects delivered across Rural Ireland.


The major package announced by Minister Humphreys today comprises 4 Strands:


  • €17 million investment in 75 Town and Village Projects nationwide;
  • €6 million in funding to purchase and re-develop vacant and derelict buildings and convert them into community facilities;
  • €2.6 million to upgrade the shopfronts and building facades in 26 towns under the Streetscape Enhancement Measure;
  • €1.56 million for planning and design works on a range of projects that are at an early stage of development.


Announcing the funding today, Minister Humphreys:


“I am delighted to announce a record €27 million in funding under my Department’s Town and Village Renewal Scheme.


“This is all about tackling the scourge of vacancy and dereliction in our rural towns and villages.


“It’s about taking old buildings and giving them a new lease of life.


“And it’s about rejuvenating the centre of our towns by developing public plazas, town parks, community gardens and sports facilities for the benefit of local families.


“This investment today will breathe new life into rural towns and villages across every single county.


“It’s the largest ever investment under the Town and Village Renewal Scheme and demonstrates my passion and ambition for our rural communities.”


Among the 75 projects that received €17 million in funding under the standard Town and Village Renewal Scheme are:


  • Robertstown, Co. Kildare: The development of a recreational facility which will include an eco-park, green playground, integrated green skate park, car park, dog park, playing pitches and an outdoor Amphitheatre at the centre – €500,000.
  • Carrick-on-Shannon, Co. Leitrim: To create a significant vibrant Town Centre community venue “The Market Yard” to host community and charity events including festivals, fun days as well as creating a Town Centre Tourist Kiosk and Café – €435,013.
  • Causeway, Co. Kerry: Refurbishment of the former Shannon Ballroom (currently derelict) creating a facility within Causeway, which provides a focal point for the community that will be used as a meeting space and co-working hub – €250,000.
  • Longford Town, Co. Longford: The development of a ‘Skate and Recreational Park’ within Longford Town along proposed future town cycleway and within immediate vicinity to the existing Royal Canal Greenway – €405,000.
  • Duncannon, Co. Wexford: To restore and develop the historic Duncannon Fort – €500,000.
  • Herbertstown, Co. Limerick: To renovate and re-purpose the former co-op building to develop it as a multi-use community space (indoor and outdoor). The investment will deliver a Community café, Men’s Shed, remote working hub, enterprise hub and community garden – €495,229.
  • Arigna, Co. Roscommon: A three phase development to include a public sports park, a pedestrian plaza and ancillary works to put the heart back into this historical village of Arigna – €499,950.
  • Bagenalstown, Co. Carlow: Public realm improvements scheme for the enhancement of the River Barrow. This includes a coffee dock, bench seating, covered canopy, green trellis overhangs, planter climber walls and decorative paving​- €500,000.
  • Stepaside, Co. Dublin: The project proposes to enhance the public realm and streetscapes of Stepaside village, including the provision of a central green space – €225,000.
  • Convoy, Co. Donegal: ​The development of the ‘Railway Park’ along the former and now disused railway line in Convoy providing a much needed inclusive green space and recreational amenity in the centre of the village – €435,204.
  • Moate, Co. Westmeath: Bringing the old Fire Station in the town centre, which has laid vacant for many years, back into use as a multi-purpose space for community use by the Moate Action Group – €112,500.
  • Ballina, Co. Tipperary: Provision of an access promenade and viewing area across the river Shannon, to drive tourist and local footfall activity – €360,000.


Building Acquisition Measure (BAM)


Minister Humphreys also today announced 29 projects that will benefit from funding under the Building Acquisition Measure (BAM) of the Town and Village Renewal Scheme.


Under the initiative, local authorities were asked by the department to engage with the local community to identify suitable vacant or derelict properties that could be taken into public ownership and converted for community use.


Among the 29 projects to be funded under the €6 million Building Acquisition Measure are:


  • Rathkeale, Co. Limerick: Convert the former Bank of Ireland Building into an e-Hub and multi-purpose community facility.
  • Mitchelstown, Co. Cork: Convert of the FCA Hall on the grounds of the old Military Barracks into a multi-purpose sports and community venue.
  • Moyvane, Co. Kerry: Convert a former garda station into a multi-purpose hub.
  • Kilrush, Co, Clare: Purchase the former Mars Cinema and Ballroom and convert it into an educational training facility.
  • Monasterevin, Co. Kildare: Convert a former Bank of Ireland building for use as a co-working enterprise hub.
  • New Ross, Co. Wexford: Convert the former courthouse as a multi-use community building.
  • Carrick-on-Suir, Co. Tipperary: Purchase of a garden centre for tourism accommodation, together with cultural, recreational, commercial and retail uses.
  • Monaghan Town, Co. Monaghan: Purchase of the Convent School building for use as a social enterprise hub.


Minister Humphreys continued:


“We are all familiar with that old building in the community that has acted as an eyesore for far too long.


“This particular initiative, the Building Acquisition Measure, is about providing our local authorities with the necessary resources to tackle the scourge of vacancy and dereliction.


“This funding will see former garda stations, convents, old cinemas and banks taken into public ownership and converted for the good of the local community.


“This scheme goes to the heart of our rural development policy ‘Our Rural Future’ – breathing new life into towns and villages and making them better places to live, work and raise a family.”


Streetscape Enhancement Initiative


Minister Humphreys has also today given the green light for works to take place in 26 towns under the Streetscape Enhancement Initiative.


This scheme will see funding of up to €100,000 provided to one town per local authority.


Under the initiative, retailers and property owners will be provided with grants that they can use to improve the facades of their buildings, carry out artwork or install features such as street furniture or canopies.


The Towns being supported under the Streetscape Enhancement Initiative are:

County Council Town
Carlow County Council Bagenalstown
Cavan County Council Ballyconnell
Clare County Council Lisdoonvarna
Cork County Council Bandon
Donegal County Council Lifford
Fingal County Council Rush
Galway County Council Tuam
Kerry County Council Tarbert
Kildare County Council Athy
Kilkenny County Council Callan
Laois County Council Abbeyleix
Leitrim County Council Carrick On Shannon
Limerick County Council Foynes
Longford County Council Granard
Louth County Council Omeath
Mayo County Council Ballyhaunis
Meath County Council Trim
Monaghan County Council Clones
Offaly County Council Clara
Roscommon County Council Ballinlough
Sligo County Council Enniscrone
Tipperary County Council Tipperary Town
Waterford County Council Tallow
Westmeath County Council Kilbeggan
Wexford County Council Enniscorthy
Wicklow County Council Newtownmountkennedy


Project Development Measure


Minister Humphreys also announced a further €1.56 million to fund 33 projects that are pre-development stage. This funding will support feasibility, planning and design works.


Examples of these projects include:


  • Ballyroan, Co. Laois: Feasibility study to determine the potential future uses of the vacant/derelict former old boys school in Ballyroan village – €50,000.
  • Manorhamilton, Co. Leitrim: Feasibility study and preliminary design and planning for the courthouse building in Manorhamilton, with a view to bringing back into use as a community facility – €50,000.
  • Moneygall, Co. Offaly: Architect led design team to deliver a detailed design proposal and planning permission for refurbishment of a derelict property into a multi-purpose community space/hub – €50,000.
  • Strandhill, Co. Sligo: Design team to develop masterplan for Dolly’s Cottage, a tourist attraction, including site survey, conservation architect, structural engineer, planning design – €49,999.50.
  • Tramore, Co. Waterford: Feasibility study for the development plan of a multi-cultural centre, including review of properties and potential locations for the centre, funding model to acquire the building, and scope initial development works required – €49,500.
  • Carnew, Co Wicklow: To do design, cost and planning for the refurbishment of the old Bank of Ireland building (BAM purchase) to become a remote working hub – €49,999.50.


The Minister concluded:


Today I am giving the green light for works to commence in the 26 towns selected under the Streetscapes Enhancement Initiative.


“From Bagenalstown to Ballinlough, this initiative will provide retailers and property owners with grants that they can use to improve the facades of their buildings, carry out artwork or install features such as street furniture or canopies.


“This is a new initiative that I introduced as part of Our Rural Future. The response has been hugely positive to date and I look forward to seeing works commence in these 26 towns.


“Finally I am delighted to sanction €1.56 million for pre-development work on 33 projects to help with the costs of developing these applications so that they are shovel ready for future funding calls.”


A full list of the projects supported under the Town and Village Renewal Scheme is available here




The Department of Rural and Community Development Press Office

01-773 6843 / 087-1734633

[email protected]

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