Mr Michael Ring TD, the Minister for Rural and Community Development , officially opened projects worth €300,000 under the Town and Village Renewal Scheme in Edenderry Co. Offaly today.
The Town and Village Renewal Scheme is a key part of the Action Plan for Rural Development and the Government’s Project Ireland 2040 Programme for Rural Regeneration. Funding awarded to individual towns and villages generally ranges from €20,000 to €100,000, with a small number of projects receiving up to €200,000 for more ambitious proposals.
Projects approved through the Scheme include public realm enhancements, the re-purposing of community buildings and other measures aimed at making small rural towns and villages more attractive and sustainable places in which to live and work.
Officially opening the projects, Minister Ring stated that:
“Under the 2018 Town and Village Renewal Scheme, funding of €200,000 was approved for Edenderry, Co Offaly to support a number of activities including the creation of this eHive Digital Hub in the Town hall.
“The eHive project will create a much needed platform for the town centre for Technical and Information based Enterprises. The facility will encourage technology, digital media and internet companies to this location and in turn will generate new job creation opportunities. This type of work model has proven to be successful in other locations in the midlands and hopefully will bring employment opportunities to Edenderry as well.
“I’m also delighted to open the public realm improvements project in O’Connell Square, which has enhanced and improved the square as a civic amenity. This project received €100,000 funding through the 2016 Town and Village Renewal Scheme. It is clear to see that the extensive works which have been carried out will ensure that the historic Market Square is a focal point in the town.”
The Minister continued:
“I have recently approved €200,000 under the 2019 Town & Village Renewal Scheme for the enhancement at Blundell Park here in Edenderry which will include a toddler’s play area and provide pedestrians walkways through the park.
“Since 2016 some €2,680,000 of funding has been approved for 24 projects in Co Offaly. Each of the projects supported will contribute to improving the quality of life for the residents of those towns and villages.”
The Minister added:
"The benefit of previous funding under the Town and Village Renewal Scheme is now being felt countrywide. Almost €68 million has now been approved for more than 830 projects across the country under the Scheme since it was introduced in the second half of 2016.”
“The Government’s commitment to supporting rural Ireland is further underscored through the €1 billion Project Ireland 2040 Rural Regeneration and Development Fund, which complements the Town and Village Renewal Scheme and provides an opportunity to deliver more integrated and ambitious projects which will further support the revitalisation of our rural towns and villages.”