A new €13 million fund launched today (Monday, March 27) aims to tackle vacancy and dereliction in rural Ireland.

The funding, under the Town and Village Renewal Scheme, will see dozens of old, unused buildings transformed into multi-purpose community facilities.

Every local authority in the country can apply for funding of up to €500,000, which they can use to purchase up to three properties to redevelop.

Funding previously announced under the scheme saw former banks, courthouses, Garda stations and FCA halls all purchased and repurposed for 21st century use.

Presentation Convent, Bagenalstown, Co Carlow, one of the buildings acquired under last year’s initiative

Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys, said:

“This is all about building on the momentum that ‘Our Rural Future’ has delivered. It’s a huge opportunity for us all to work together in tackling the scourge of dereliction and transforming old run-down buildings into facilities that will benefit communities for generations to come.”

Since the launch of the Town and Village Renewal Scheme, over €149 million has been allocated to more than 1,600 projects.

Applications under the Building Acquisition Measure must be submitted by April 28; further details can be found here.

Former Bank of Ireland Building, Lismore, Co Waterford