Laois towns and villages urged to apply for community enhancement grants

Leinster Express Reporter

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Leinster Express Reporter

fine gael laois grants

Minster Charlie Flanagan cuts the ribbon on the Emo Old Schoolhouse in Laois which benefited from the Town and Village Scheme in 2017. Picture: Michael Scully

Communities around Laois are urged to get their applications in for the valuable Town and Village Renewal Scheme.
 
Funding of up to €200,000 is available for rural towns and villages across Laois through the 2019 Town and Village Renewal Scheme.

Laois TD and Minister for Justice & Equality, Charlie Flanagan urged communities to get involved in the scheme which targets money at rural towns and villages with populations of less than 10,000.
 
“I strongly encourage towns and villages in Co Laois to work with Laois County Council in preparing innovative and well thought-out projects under the scheme and I look forward to the announcement of the successful recipients of funding in the coming months.
 
“In order to avail of funding through the scheme, Laois County Council will be required to advertise for expressions of interest from towns and villages and will select proposals for development into detailed applications to be submitted to the Department by the end of June,” he said.

Details of the scheme BELOW: 

Two categories of town/villages are eligible for support under the scheme:
 
Category 1:  Towns/villages with a population of less than 5,000 people.
 
Category 2:  Towns with a population of 5,000-10,000 people.
 
At least 60% of the funding available will be awarded to Category 1 towns and villages. 
 
Successful proposals will demonstrate close collaboration between communities and business interests in the design and delivery of proposed projects, and must have the support of the Local Authority. 
 
Sustainable impacts
 
Projects which have clear positive impacts on a town or village in terms of place-making and town centre regeneration, or which stimulate economic activity between a town/village and its neighbouring townlands will be particularly welcome, as will proposals seeking to develop initiatives to encourage town centre living.  
 
Projects which demonstrate leveraging of, or linkages with, other schemes operated by Government Departments or agencies (e.g. in the areas of heritage, arts, culture, tourism, re-use of vacant premises, vacant sites, energy efficiency schemes, etc.) will also be encouraged. 
 
Grant levels
 
Up to 80% of the total cost of a project under the Town and Village Renewal Scheme will be provided for any individual project.  The minimum grant which is available is €20,000 and the maximum is €100,000.  A higher maximum of €200,000 will be considered for a limited number of projects where a strong case can be made demonstrating exceptionally strong benefit to a town and/or its outlying areas. 
 
Full details of the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund, along with the Application Form, are available on the Department of Rural and Community Development website, at https://drcd.gov.ie/about/ rural/rural-regeneration- development-fund/.
 
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