Regeneration of Boyle and Athenry among 66 projects to get funds

National mountain-biking project and tourism site at Granard Motte to receive some of the €62m

The Minister for Rural Affairs Michael Ring has allocated €62m towards a range of rural projects as part of the €1 billion rural regeneration fund which was previously announced in the Project Ireland 2040 plan. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

The Minister for Rural Affairs Michael Ring has allocated €62m towards a range of rural projects as part of the €1 billion rural regeneration fund which was previously announced in the Project Ireland 2040 plan. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

 

Some 66 projects in rural Ireland look set to benefit from fresh Government funding which is being announced today.

The Minister for Rural Affairs Michael Ring has allocated €62m towards a range of rural projects as part of the €1 billion rural regeneration fund which was previously announced in the Project Ireland 2040 plan.

The successful applications for funding announced on Thursday include the regeneration of Athenry , a national mountain-biking project, and the development of a major tourism and amenity attraction at the site of Granard Motte, a national monument on the outskirts of Granard, Co Longford.

Further projects include a Boyle town regeneration project and a town regeneration project for Thomastown in Co Kilkenny. This includes the renovation of the former court house into a craft and design centre.

Mr Ring said funding would have a “transformative effect” on rural towns and villages.

“These projects are ambitious and strategic in nature. The funding will transform communities by delivering projects in sectors such as tourism, agri-food and recreation. After today, every county in the country will be benefitting from the rural fund.

“I believe that it is vital that we continue to build resilience in rural communities and make our towns and villages vibrant places for families to live. It is also particularly appropriate, with Brexit approaching, that we continue to strengthen the rural economy and support sustainable development. The projects that this fund supports are targeting areas where they can have the greatest economic and social impact.”

The Department has said that following the announcement, a total of 84 projects have been allocated a total of €86 million funding for rural regeneration and development.

Minister for Business Heather Humphreys said the money would support job creation.

“It also promotes balanced regional development and ensures that opportunity is shared across the whole country,” she said.

The Government’s rural regeneration fund is seeking to “revitalise rural Ireland” by supporting projects in towns and villages with a population of less than 10,000.