Derelict buildings to be converted into community spaces

Under €75m fund a former Co Donegal cinema and Co Galway courthouse will be renovated

Minister for Community and Rural Development Heather Humphreys TD is pictured at the announcement of allocations under the €75 million Rural Regeneration Development Fund. Photograph: Lorraine Teevan.

Minister for Community and Rural Development Heather Humphreys TD is pictured at the announcement of allocations under the €75 million Rural Regeneration Development Fund. Photograph: Lorraine Teevan.

 

Derelict buildings, an old cinema and a former courthouse are to be renovated to create facilities such as remote working hubs, arts venues and libraries as part a €75 million rural regeneration package.

Minister for Community and Rural Development Heather Humphreys has outlined 24 projects selected as part of the Rural Regeneration Development Fund, which will see hotels, convents and market houses upgraded to become community spaces.

Donegal secured backing for the largest number of projects in this round of funding, with three projects chosen. This included €8.7 million for a regeneration project in Ballybofey-Stranorlar which involved the restoration and redevelopment of the Ritz Cinema, a heritage building, as a 1,400sqm enterprise centre.

A courthouse in Portumna, Co Galway is to be redeveloped to make way for an arts and culture venue and a remote working space and social space for the community.

In Portalington, Co Laois, a market house is to be refurbished to become a community meeting space and an event and exhibition space.

A derelict building in the centre of Dromahair in Co Leitrim is to be converted into a public library as well as a space with hot-desking facilities.

A museum in Foynes, Co Limerick will have an additional viewing gallery installed as well as a children’s gallery and a 112-seat cinema.

Ms Humphreys said these projects will “breathe new life into towns and villages across the country making them attractive and vibrant places for people to live, work, socialise and raise a family”.

The Government has said that the focus of the new funding will be on combatting dereliction and regenerating iconic and well-known buildings in the various communities.

In Tipperary, a project will see a vacant 19th century agriculture building and car park become the Thurles market quarter, which will include a market space, an events space, a student space and a café.