I propose to take Questions Nos. 89, 93 and 127 together.
The refurbishment of vacant properties is being addressed by a number of initiatives delivered by my Department, in line with the commitments contained in Our Rural Future. In April, I announced investment of €81 million for 25 landmark projects for funding under category 1 of the rural regeneration and development fund, RRDF. The projects will combat dereliction, increase the vibrancy of rural towns and villages and regenerate town centre buildings. A call for RRDF category 2 projects opened in May.
I have also announced funding of €15 million under the 2021 town and village renewal scheme. A key focus of this year's scheme is to renovate derelict and vacant buildings in town centres, including for residential living. I have increased the maximum grant available under the scheme to €500,000 to permit projects of additional scale to be funded. In addition, I will shortly be announcing a new €2 million scheme to fund the development of town master plans, which I expect will identify strategic actions tailored to address vacancy and support town centre living in each town.
There is a range of other initiatives outlined in Our Rural Future that will contribute to addressing vacancy in our towns and villages. In particular, an interdepartmental group has been established to develop a town centre first approach and bring forward recommendations to Government. As part of its role, this group is considering the suggested actions set out in the report on my Department's town centre living initiative, which was published last year. As part of budget 2022, and in the context of the town centre first approach, we will examine the scope to introduce new supports and incentives for the refurbishment of vacant properties to increase town centre living.
There is a range of schemes that seek to deal with this issue. As I indicated, €81 million in funding is being made available for 25 flagship projects under the RRDF. The work will involve looking at old buildings, including cinemas, courthouses and convents. For example, we provided funding to Donegal County Council to convert a former department store into a wonderful new complex. We have given funding to refurbish a number of old convents, including one in Ballymahon. These buildings will be brought back into use as community facilities, such as libraries, remote working hubs and so on. Some will be multipurpose buildings. I want to see investment in bringing buildings back into use and conversion for 21st century living. The way we are living is changing and remote working, in particular, is a wonderful opportunity for rural Ireland. It makes sense to convert some of these properties and use them for that purpose.