Published on 

Minister Humphreys announces investment of over €4.5 Million to tackle Dereliction and Vacancy in Rural Towns and Villages

Minister Humphreys announces investment of over €4.5 Million to tackle Dereliction and Vacancy in Rural Towns and Villages

  • Scheme to breathe new lease of life into our Rural towns and villages
  • 24 Projects in Total: Including former Garda Stations, Schools, Post Offices, Parish Halls and Vacant Sites to be redeveloped for 21st Century Use
  • Minister Humphreys: ‘This is about repurposing Old Buildings to benefit rural communities the length and breadth of the country.’

The Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, has today (Monday, 15th January 2024) announced funding of over €4.5 million to tackle dereliction and vacancy in Rural Ireland.

The investment, under the Town and Village Renewal Scheme, will see 24 old and derelict buildings repurposed for 21st century community use.

Among the projects that will be revamped under the initiative include: Former Garda Stations, Schools, Post Offices, Parish Halls, Restaurants, Public Houses and Vacant Sites.

The announcement represents the second year of investment under the Town and Village Renewal Scheme’s Building Acquisition Measure, which is designed to bring vacant and derelict properties back into use in our town and village centres.

Under the initiative, funding has been allocated to local authorities to purchase and re-develop 24 vacant and derelict buildings in rural towns and villages across Ireland.

These buildings will then be developed for a range of community purposes.

Announcing the details today, Minister Humphreys said:

“I am delighted to announce the details of this €4.5 million investment under my Department’s Town and Village Renewal Scheme. This initiative is all about giving our local communities the tools to address the challenges of vacancy and dereliction in their towns and villages. Through this funding, we are taking those run-down buildings and turning them into facilities that will benefit communities for generations to come.

“By doing so, we will help to drive footfall into our town centres, increase tourism and, above all, make our rural towns and villages even better places to live, work, invest, visit and raise a family. This scheme is underpinned by ‘Our Rural Future’ – our five year rural development policy, which has changed Rural Ireland for the better. I am very pleased with the range of buildings which we have been able to support under this initiative, and I look forward to these buildings being developed for community use in the coming months.”

Among the 24 projects to be funded under the €4.5 million Building Acquisition Measure are:

  • Ballyroan, Co. Laois: A former national school to be used as a multi-purpose community venue
  • Bellacorrick, Co. Mayo: A former garda barracks for use as a multi-purpose community hub, community gym and remote working hub
  • Enfield, Co. Meath: A former parish hall for use as a multipurpose community space
  • St Margaret's, Fingal: A former Parochial Hall, Parochial House and Coach House to be converted into multi-purpose community space
  • Villierstown, Co. Waterford: A site with derelict buildings - to regenerate the derelict buildings into a modern permanent structure including a boathouse, camping site, additional parking facilities, multi-purpose community space
  • Belturbet, Co. Cavan: A former bakery for conversion into a multi-purpose community facility
  • Gorey, Co. Wexford: A former Credit Union being developed for 21st Century Use

*Leitrim Village, Co. Leitrim: Purchase of a two storey semi-detached house to create a Blueway Hub

  • Tipperary Town, Co. Tipperary: Redevelopment of a three-storey former public house and fast foot outlet to convert into a multi-purpose community space.

Minister Humphreys concluded:

“The announcement today shows the real impact that ‘Our Rural Future’ is having across the country. We’ve never experienced more exciting things happening in Rural Ireland than we are today. We will continue to work with local communities to ensure that our rural towns and villages continue to be vibrant places to live and work, with people of all ages – young and old – seeing and realising the benefits.”

The list of successful projects is available to view here



Town and Village Renewal Scheme

The 2023 Town and Village Renewal Scheme (TVRS) supports the revitalisation of rural Ireland through a renewed focus on town centre economic and social vibrancy and regeneration, including tackling vacancy and dereliction in towns and villages.

The scheme is administered through the local authorities, who are required to work closely with local communities and local businesses to develop and implement proposals that can make a lasting impact in revitalising rural towns and villages across the country.

Building Acquisition Measure

The 2023 Building Acquisition Measure formed part of the overarching Town and Village Renewal Scheme structure. It provided up to €500,000 to each local authority to purchase vacant and derelict buildings for future development as community assets. Each local authority was invited to apply to purchase up to three such buildings within the €500,000 available.

Our Rural Future

Our Rural Future is the whole-of-government policy for rural Ireland for the period 2021-2025. It represents a new milestone in the approach to rural development policy for Ireland.

The policy’s objectives will be achieved through the delivery of 161 measures, to be implemented progressively over the life of the policy across a range of government departments and agencies. Annual work programmes enable new actions to be added over the policy’s lifecycle, to respond to the emerging needs of rural communities.

Town Centre First

Town Centre First contains 33 unique actions which will give our towns the tools and resources they need to become more viable and attractive places in which to live, work, visit and run a business. Town Regeneration Officers in all relevant Local Authority areas are being funded by the Department to drive forward Town Centre First on a local level.