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Call for innovative projects to tackle dereliction in Mayo's towns and villages

A call has been made for innovative and exciting projects to come forward that will make a real and lasting difference in rural towns and villages across Mayo.

Deputy Alan Dillon issued the appeal following the launch today by Minister for Rural and Community Development Heather Humphreys of the 2021 Town and Village Renewal Scheme, for which a fund of €15 million has been allocated.

Deputy Dillon said: “The focus of this year’s scheme is to renovate derelict and vacant buildings in our town centres and give them a new purpose – whether it is for remote working, cultural or community use.

"The maximum grant to €500,000 has been increased his year so that projects of scale and ambition can be put forward.”

The scheme supports the rejuvenation of rural towns and villages with populations of less than 10,000 people, through projects that will have a viable, long-term benefit.

Deputy Dillon explained: “The Town and Village Renewal Scheme has become an integral part of the government’s drive to support rural Ireland."

The measures that will be supported by the 2021 Town and Village Renewal Scheme include:

Funding available to turn vacant buildings in town centres into remote working hubs, enterprise spaces, cultural, tourism and community hubs.

Scheme encourages Collaborative Projects to upgrade shop fronts and inject street facades with colour and vibrancy.

Investment in green spaces in town centres, parks and recreational amenities.

Marketing campaigns to attract remote workers to rural Ireland.

Projects that support and enhance the night-time economy and add vibrancy to town centres.

Grants from €20,000 to €500,000 available.

Deputy Dillon added: “The towns and villages in Mayo are at the heart of economic and social activity in rural areas and they are also key hubs of social interaction.

"I want to see Mayo County Council engaging with local businesses and property owners on our main streets and putting forward collaborative projects to upgrade shop fronts and enhance our streetscapes.

"This is all about adding colour and vibrancy to our towns and villages making them more attractive places to live, work in and visit.

“Most importantly, we need to seize the momentum around remote working and for that reason, I’m delighted to see supports available to local authorities for innovative marketing campaigns highlighting what their area has to offer in terms of remote working facilities as well as cultural and recreational amenities.

"This is about showcasing our rural towns and villages in Mayo with the aim of attracting remote workers and the so called ‘digital nomads’ to come and live in rural Ireland.”

The closing date for the submission of applications is July 16, 2021.

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