Come to a city near you: 30 million euro fund for the renovation of run-down cinemas, banks and monasteries


Local authorities are to be given up to €400,000 each to refurbish old monasteries, banks, post offices and cinemas under a new government program aimed at tackling the scourge of derelict buildings in rural towns and villages.

Councilors are also being urged to seek the opinions of local community groups and activists on which buildings they would like to see renovated under the new €30m scheme.

The move means people can come up with proposals for the rehabilitation of run-down buildings in their communities, which could then be renovated to create spaces for local activities.

The program will focus on buildings that have become eyesore in rural towns and villages, and it is hoped the funding can be used to breathe life into old buildings that were once cornerstones of the community.

Funding can be used to purchase and refurbish old buildings that can become community centers or digital hubs for people working from home to avoid the daily commute to Dublin or other cities.

Funding can also be used to develop sites into parks, green spaces and recreational facilities.

And government support will allow city councils to convert derelict sites and buildings into outdoor dining spaces or city center squares.

However, councils are encouraged by Social Protection Secretary Heather Humphreys to work with local community groups, city teams and local chambers to identify the most suitable properties for funding.

The move will ensure that there is significant local buy-in and that communities feel they are involved in the process of rejuvenating their local town or village.

Any local authority outside Dublin can apply for the grants, which can be used to purchase and refurbish landmark buildings in rural communities that have been derelict for a number of years.

Municipalities can call up a maximum of 400,000 euros, which can be used to buy and renovate a building or split the money between two buildings.

The funds are made available under the Town and Village Renewal Program and aim to support the continuous renewal of our rural towns and villages.

The program typically funds communities with a population of up to 10,000 people.

Larger rural towns with a population of up to 15,000 may be eligible where a grant application is particularly strong and the project will have a significant impact on the area.

Minister Humphreys will launch the program today, explaining that the Government’s Rural Future Initiative aims to regenerate rural towns and villages so that they become attractive places to live.

“I am providing local authorities this year with special funds to identify and purchase vacant and derelict buildings in rural towns and villages for public ownership and conversion for community use and public welfare” , she said.

“I encourage local authorities to work with communities, identify suitable sites, submit a proposal for their future use and apply to my department for funding.

“There are former bank buildings that could easily be converted into remote work centers,” she added. Come to a city near you: 30 million euro fund for the renovation of run-down cinemas, banks and monasteries

Fry Electronics Team

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