Donegal TD Joe McHugh has urged local community groups and businesses in towns and villages up and down the country to start making their pitch for regeneration grants under the 2018 Town and Village Renewal Scheme.
Mr McHugh, Government Chief Whip and Minister for the Irish language, Gaeltacht and the Islands, said there is €15 million in funding available for the regeneration of rural towns and villages across Ireland this year.
He said “I am urging local community groups, businesses and committees in towns and villages up and down Donegal to make contact with the local authority and make their case for these hugely beneficial regeneration grants.
“Your town or village is the heart and soul of rural Donegal. It is vital that we make the most of these opportunities to revitalise these communities, make them more welcoming places to live, work and socialise and to restore and sustain that unique vibrancy that you only get in our county.
“Fine Gael in Government is using the resources created by our strong economy to deliver real benefits to people and communities all across the country. I strongly urge Donegal County Council to make the most of this scheme and to capitalise on the opportunities that it brings.
“The Town and Village Renewal Scheme is now in its third year and is another example of how the Fine Gael Government is committed to supporting rural communities in a practical, sustainable and smart way.”
Up to 200 rural towns and villages around the country will benefit from the scheme over the next 15 months.
The scheme is specifically targeted at rural towns and villages with populations of less than 5,000 and between 5,000 and 10,000. Grants are available from €20,000 to €100,000 with a small number of exceptional schemes to get up to €200,000.
It is being administered by the Department of Rural and Community Development.
The Town and Village Renewal Scheme, part of the Government’s Action Plan for Rural Development, complements the 2018 CLÁR programme which sees €5 million being pumped into Donegal and the two rounds of funding for the Local Improvement Schemes which will see millions put into non-public, rural roads and laneways.
The Town and Village Renewal Scheme is an initiative under the Government’s Action Plan for Rural Development, Realising our Rural Potential. The Government’s commitment to supporting rural Ireland is further underscored through the National Development Plan which will see the creation of a new Rural Regeneration and Development Fund which will be launched in the coming months by Minister for Rural and Community Development Michael Ring.
Successful projects will be determined through a competitive process at Local Authority level and subsequently a final selection being made by the Department of Rural and Community Development.
Donegal County Council will advertise for expressions of interest from towns/villages and will select proposals for development into detailed applications to be submitted to the Department by the end of June.
The Department will write to the Local Authorities in the coming days with full details of the Scheme and make final selections in July. Successful projects will be expected to commence by year-end and can run throughout 2019.
Further information is available on the Department of Rural and Community Development website http://drcd.gov.ie/