Video: Minister Michael Ring in jovial form in Longford this morning as he approves €21.6 million to revitalise rural Ireland

Refurbished Granard Buttermarket officially opened

Liam Cosgrove

Reporter:

Liam Cosgrove

Email:

liam.cosgrove@longfordleader.ie


Minister Michael Ring was in jovial form in Longford this morning as he approved €21.6 million in funding to revitalise rural Ireland. 

The Minister for Rural and Community Development, who was in Granard for the official opening of the refurbished Buttermarket, announced that 281 rural towns and villages across the country are set to benefit from over €21 million in funding under the 2017 Town and Village Renewal Scheme. The scheme is a key part of the Government’s Action Plan for Rural Development.

Minister of State Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran, Deputies Peter Burke and Robert Troy, Longford County Council Chief Executive Paddy Mahon, Senior Planner Donall Mac An Bheatha, Granard Municipal District Cathaoirleach Cllr PJ Reilly, Councillors Micheál Carrigy, Gerard Farrell and Paul Ross; and former All Ireland winning footballer with Kerry and Government Ambassador for the National Action Plan for Rural Development, Pat Spillane were present for the announcement. 

The 2017 Town and Village Renewal Scheme, which was launched in April this year, focuses on projects which can help to enhance and develop rural towns and villages, with a particular emphasis on stimulating economic development. Funding awarded to individual towns and villages this year generally range from €20,000 to €100,000, with 50 projects receiving between €100,000 and €200,000 for more ambitious proposals.

 

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Minister Ring said: “The Town and Village Renewal Scheme is an important part of my Department’s work to rejuvenate and revitalise rural Ireland and should have a significant impact on towns and villages across the country.

 

“Following on from the success of the 2016 scheme, I am delighted to be able to allocate €21.6 million for projects in 281 towns and villages right across rural Ireland. This allocation more than doubles the €10 million allocated to the Town and Village Renewal Scheme last year. This is a clear indication of the Government’s commitment to making rural Ireland a more vibrant and sustainable place to live. This funding will be put to good use over the coming twelve months for the benefit of the people who live in rural Ireland."

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The Minister added, “I have placed a particular emphasis this year on projects which have the capacity to support the economic development of rural town and villages as well as their neighbouring townlands. The scheme will also support improvements to public amenities in town and village centres, to help make them more attractive places in which to live and work and to visit. 

 

“I am delighted with the response which I received to the call for proposals this year.  Amongst the successful projects which I am announcing are many fine examples of initiatives which will support enterprise and job creation.  I want to thank the Local Authorities for their efforts and co-operation in engaging with local and business communities to identify these projects. Most of the funding will benefit towns and villages, with populations of less than 5,000 people.”