Thursday, 5 December 2019

Questions (24)

Brian Stanley

Question:

24. Deputy Brian Stanley asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development his views on whether county councils should play a greater role in the town and village renewal scheme; and his views on whether the scheme should be deployed in such a way that it would enhance local area plans. [50295/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Rural)

The Town and Village Renewal Scheme is part of a range of measures to support the revitalisation of rural Ireland under the Government’s Project Ireland 2040 Rural Regeneration and Development Programme.  Since 2016, €68 million has been allocated for more than 830 projects across the country under the scheme.

The Local Authorities are already central to the delivery of the Town and Village Renewal Scheme. While the scheme is funded and managed by my Department, it is administered through the Local Authorities.

I believe that it is important that local communities are involved in identifying their own needs and proposing projects for their areas.  That is why Local Authorities are required to advertise for expressions of interest from towns and villages in their area under the scheme, and to identify proposals for development into detailed applications to be submitted to the Department for consideration.  The development of these proposals must be done in consultation with the community and business interests in each town or village.

In addition, the Local Authorities are informed that all applications submitted for funding must be consistent with the relevant County Development Plan, Local Economic and Community Plan, and other relevant local development plans.  This is to ensure that the funding provided through the scheme is targeted in a strategic way to achieve the greatest potential impact.

For the 2019 scheme, I also tried to encourage applications from towns and villages which had not previously received funding under the scheme.

I will continue to engage with the Local Authorities to ensure the Town and Village Renewal Scheme involves the maximum level of collaboration and engagement with local communities and businesses.