Thursday, 24 September 2020

Questions (307)

Mattie McGrath

Question:

307. Deputy Mattie McGrath asked the Minister for Community and Rural Development and the Islands if additional funding will be made available through the Covid-19 town and village renewal accelerated measures grant scheme; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [26123/20]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Community)

This year’s Town and Village Renewal Scheme has been tailored to assist our rural towns and villages to respond to the challenges presented by COVID-19.

The scheme includes an Accelerated Measure which enables towns and villages to introduce initiatives immediately to support increased footfall and enable people to shop and socialise safely in accordance with public health guidelines.

The scheme also includes the Standard Measure which places a focus this year on the recovery of towns and villages from the impact of COVID-19 in the medium-term.

When the 2020 Town and Village Renewal Scheme was launched in May, it had a budget of €15 million, including an indicative allocation of €5 million for the Accelerated Measure.

The Government’s July Stimulus Package provided an additional €10 million in funding to the Town and Village Renewal scheme, allowing the allocation for the Accelerated Measure to be doubled. This extra funding for the Measure has allowed my Department to:

- increase the number of funding rounds from two to three;

- increase the number of applications that can be submitted by the Local Authorities; and

- as an exceptional measure, provide funding under the Accelerated Measure for larger towns with a population above 10,000 people. This is in recognition of the importance of larger towns in supporting the economic and social fabric of surrounding rural communities.

Successful projects under Round 1 and Round 2 of the Accelerated Measure have recently been announced, with a total of €6.1 million being approved for 226 projects.

Applications under Round 3 and from Large Towns are currently being assessed by my officials and further announcements will be made when the process is complete.

Successful applications under the Standard Measure, which will place a focus on the next stage of recovery, will be announced at a later stage.