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Kenmare, Co Kerry Alamy Stock Photo
Rural communities

Here are the towns that have been given funding to tackle dereliction and boost tourism

The Town Centre First initiative aims to help areas pursue projects like redeveloping derelict sites, green spaces, preserving historical landmarks and boosting tourism.

THE GOVERNMENT HAS granted hundreds of thousands in funding to 26 rural towns to help them tackle dereliction.

The Town Centre First initiative aims to help areas pursue projects like redeveloping derelict sites, creating community parks and walkways, preserving historical landmarks and boosting tourism.

The new towns join 26 others whose final action plans were published by Minister for Rural and Community Development Heather Humphreys and Minister of State for Local Government Kieran O’Donnell today.

Each town now has a Town Regeneration Officer, whose role it is to implement the plan in collaboration with the community.

Minister Humphreys said the new town regeneration officers will ensure that the projects on vacancy have a strategic and coherent approach at local level.

In the first phase of the scheme, the pilot phase, the following 26 towns received funding to create a Town Centre First plan:

  • Tullow, Co Carlow
  • Bailieborough, Co Cavan
  • Sixmilebridge, Co Clare
  • Skibbereen, Co Cork
  • Milford, Co Donegal
  • Lusk, Fingal, Co Dublin
  • Gort, Co Galway
  • Milltown, Co Kerry
  • Clane, Co Kildare
  • Urlingford, Co Kilkenny
  • Rathdowney, Co Laois
  • Carrick-on-Shannon, Co Leitrim
  • Abbeyfeale, Co Limerick
  • Longford Town., Co Longford
  • Dunleer, Co Louth
  • Killala, Co Mayo
  • Enfield, Co Meath
  • Carrickmacross, Co Monaghan 
  • Clara, Co Offaly
  • Strokestown, Co Roscommon
  • Tubbercurry, Co Sligo
  • Roscrea, Co Tipperary
  • Portlaw, Co Waterford
  • Moate, Co Westmeath
  • New Ross, Co Wexford
  • Blessington, Co Wicklow

Today, a further 26 towns – one in each county in the republic – have been given the green light to develop their own Town Centre First plans.

The towns are: 

  • Bagenalstown, Co Carlow
  • Killeshandra, Co Cavan
  • Kilrush, Co Clare
  • Kanturk, Co Cork
  • Glenties, Co Donegal
  • Rush, Fingal, Co Dublin
  • Athenry, Co Galway
  • Kenmare, Co Kerry
  • Castledermot, Co Kildare
  • Graigeunamanagh, Co Kilkenny
  • Mountmellick, Co Laois
  • Manorhamilton, Co Leitrim
  • Rathkeale, Co Limerick
  • Ballymahon, Co Longford
  • Clogherhead, Co Louth
  • Ballyhaunis, Co Mayo
  • Dunshaughlin, Co Meath
  • Ballybay, Co Monaghan
  • Ferbane, Co Offaly
  • Castlerea, Co Roscommon
  • Ballymote, Co Sligo
  • Carrick on Suir, Co Tipperary
  • Dunmore East, Waterford
  • Castlepollard, Co Westmeath
  • Courtown/Riverchapel, Co Wexford
  • Newtownmountkennedy, Co Wicklow

They will receive €30,000 each for locally-led projects of their choosing, as the initiative aims to keep in mind that “every town is different”.

Government funding was secured through the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund, the Urban Regeneration and Development Fund, the Town and Village Renewal Scheme, the Vacant Property Refurbishment Grant, European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), Town Centre First Heritage Revival (THRIVE) Scheme and the Historic Towns Initiative.

Speaking at the launch today, Minister Humphreys, said: “Communities are at the heart of rural Ireland. 

“Government is firmly committed to strategic projects that will transform rural Ireland such as under the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund, and we are already seeing the hugely positive impacts of investment right across the country.”

With reporting by the Press Association

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