As Minister of State for Gaeltacht Affairs and Natural Resources at the Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs I can confirm the doubling of the funding for the Town and Village Scheme for 2017.
€20 million has been allocated by the Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs and is part of the Realising Our Rural Potential Action Plan.
This extra funding for the Town and Village Renewal Scheme announced today by my Department colleague Minister Heather Humphreys. It represents a doubling of the funding available which will directly benefit communities across Galway and Mayo.
Last year we introduced this Scheme to help support community initiatives and improvements in small towns and villages. Under that round of funding Galway received €380,000 which has funded improvements in eight towns and villages including Athenry, Rosmuc, Oughterard, Ballinasloe and Tuam. The projects included improvements to footpaths, to forest parks and playgrounds as well as the development of a walking and bike trail. County Mayo also received €380,000 which helped fund improvements in Crossmolina, Kilkelly, Kiltimagh and Louisburgh.
With a doubling of the national funding available I strongly encourage Galway County Council and Mayo County Council to put forward projects for funding under the Scheme and to ensure that as many towns and villages in Galway and Mayo as possible are among the 300 towns and villages that will benefit from this Scheme this year.
There are two categories of Towns and Villages eligible for support –
Towns and villages with a population of less than 5,000 people
Towns and villages with a population of between 5,000 and 10,000 people.
Projects must have a clear positive economic benefit for the town/village and the surround around. Up to 80% of the cost of the project will be provided through this Scheme. The minimum grant is €20,000 to a maximum of €100,000.