Ireland’s Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, has announced €2.6mn funding to deliver so-called “Town Centre First Plans” aimed at tackling dereliction and revitalising rural town centres, the Dublin government announced on December 9.

As part of the initial tranche of funding, local authorities will be given €100,000 to support the development of local master plans for each town. The initial funding is set to help counter the dereliction of town centres and help set in motion new projects to revive local economies hit by years of weakening business conditions.

Among the 26 towns selected as part of the scheme were Carrick-on-Shannon, Skibbereen, Roscrea and Abbeyfeale.

Announcing the details of the 26 towns, Minister Humphreys said:

“Our rural towns and villages play a central role in the lives of people in rural areas. They are where we live, work, shop and socialise. It is important that we ensure our towns and villages remain vibrant, vital and relevant places.”

She added, “Each town selected as part of this initiative will has its own strengths and each will face different challenges as it maps out its future path. No one size fits all policy will work. The Plans will be developed in tandem with Town Teams that are representative of the local towns and who can bring a wealth of knowledge and local expertise.”

Funding of €100,000 will be provided to each of 26 towns for the development of a Town Centre Plan; the funding will also cover any underlying analysis that must be undertaken to inform the development of the plan or capacity building required locally for the Town Team.

It is expected that funding will be provided for the development of plans in additional towns as the Town Centre First Policy is launched and fully operational.

The process of creating the Plan is a collaborative exercise, supported by the relevant local authority, which will involve stakeholders such as community representatives, residents and businesspeople, and other stakeholders as part of a Town Team, the Dublin government said.


Privacy Preference Center