Mairead McGuinness, MEP for Longford and Vice-President of the European Parliament is encouraging community groups to avail of the immediate opportunity to work with their Local Authorities to enhance and upgrade their towns and villages under the new €10 million allocation announced today.
Speaking at the launch (Tuesday) in Clones, Co. Monaghan of the Rural Town and Village Renewal Scheme by Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, Heather Humphreys TD, the MEP said it is a good opportunity for those who have projects and ideas ready to action to put in their applications by September.
“This funding scheme is due for distribution by the end of the year so those with projects already in mind will be in pole position to benefit.
“There will be further tranches coming down the line during 2017 and beyond. This part of the scheme will assist those with initiatives to help regenerate their towns and villages and give a boost to those working to bring vibrancy and economic recovery back into communities,” she said.
It will be administered through Local Authorities who will partner with local communities and local businesses to develop and implement ideas that can make a real and lasting impact.
A particular focus will be placed on supporting towns with populations of less than 5,000. A smaller number of projects can be supported in each county for towns with a population of up to 10,000.
An allocation of €380,000 will be available in each county. Funding will be allocated to meet up to 85% of the total cost of each project.
Each county can apply for up to 8 separate town/village projects and submit outline plans to the Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs in September for approval.
Funding will be released to Local Authorities once projects are approved by the Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs. The maximum grant for any single project is €100,000.
Types of activities which can be supported
Measures taken under the scheme should have a sustainable and visible impact on the town/village. The type of projects to be funded could include:
- Increasing 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;
- Enhancing its environment and amenity in the interests of residents, businesses and visitors;
- Enhancing the culture and local heritage assets of the town/village and promote tourism;
- Tackling minor physical infrastructural deficits and land assembly issues.